Two major construction projects at Weston Middle School took a bit longer than expected, but are wrapping up as of this week.
Tom Landry, town administrator, said the windows and doors replacement project that included remediation of PCBs found in the caulking was down to mostly cosmetic work this week.
Mr. Landry said as of Monday, Bill Knight, the owner’s representative for the project, said he and the contractor, Secondino and Son, have yet to develop a punch list — a final list of remaining details to be completed.
Mr. Landry said there are still a few workers on site, but they are only there during a night shift when there are no students or staff in the building. The workers are mainly covering exterior windowsills with a metal trim at this point, he said.
Another project at the middle school this past summer was a $330,000 wetland remediation project that was mandated by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Stage I of the two-part project began in early July. It included removing invasive vegetation and grading the area behind the middle school to improve natural drainage.
The work — done with mostly heavy construction equipment — was supposed to have been done by the time school started. Mr. Landry said there was a delay of a few weeks, mainly because of an unanticipated pipe replacement: Workers discovered a 240-foot pipe that brings water from one catch basin to another had collapsed.
Mr. Landry said it also took longer to get rid of soil that was excavated from the site than the contractors had anticipated. Approximately 3,000 cubic yards of soil was excavated and about 60% had to be trucked off site, he said.
Workers were scheduled to finish the final hydroseeding on Monday, and the heavy equipment was scheduled to be removed from the middle school back parking area early this week.
Stage II of the project will begin in just a few weeks. It consists of planting about 4,000 plants — “a couple hundred” larger trees and shrubs and thousands of smaller grasses and plants, Mr. Landry said.
The good news, he added, is during the first phase, workers were able to save more big trees than they thought they would, which means there are fewer to replace.
The planting phase was always scheduled to take place in October, the best time to get the plants in the ground so they will take.
This week, the children at the middle school should regain some access to the playground and field areas that have been off limits thus far this year because of the construction.
Once the plantings are done in October, Mr. Landry said the temporary fencing between the play areas and the wetlands will be replaced with permanent fencing.
Mr. Landry said the slight delays in both the windows and doors project and the wetlands project did not interfere with any of the school’s educational programs, nor did they add any extra cost.
“Overall, the projects have gone along pretty well,” he said.