Frontier Regional track design estimate $200K over budget

  • The track at Frontier Regional School. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 12/16/2020 1:32:23 PM

SOUTH DEERFIELD — The Frontier Regional School Committee is $200,000 over budget when it comes to resurfacing its track and will have to come up with funding sources to make up the difference.

The committee voted last week to appropriate $100,000 in excess and deficiency funds to cover half the amount, though another $100,000 remains.

“We have saved up School Choice money and will likely be using that to pay for the difference,” explained Shelley Poreda, the business administrator for the Frontier and Union 38 regional school districts. School Choice money is paid by municipalities to send their children to school is other districts.

“That money can be used for anything,” Poreda said.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Superintendent Darius Modestow explained he recently got estimates from Berkshire Design Group.

“You don’t know what you’re paying for until you do the survey work,” he said.

Modestow mentioned the school committee voted four or five years ago, when he was principal, to resurface the track and appropriated $125,000 for the project. Vendors gave estimates of slightly more than $500,000.

“So we added that number to it … for $630,000 moving forward, because you’re not going to know until you dig into how much of the subsurface has to be replaced, so on and so forth,” Modestow said.

The superintendent also said the fencing around the track is causing cracking.

“Almost every post, you’ll see a crack going into the asphalt. And that up-and-down heaving over 20 years, the architect actually it said it held up darn well for 20 years of track. It’s New England weather. You only can do so much with pieces that are moving,” he explained. “So those posts all have to come out and we’ve got to put a new fence and, doing so, that is around $66,000, and more, to do that.”

In retrospect, Modestow said, it would have been better to ask the committee for more than $125,000.

Frontier School Committee Secretary Judy Pierce chimed in to say Berkshire Design Group attended a recent budget subcommittee meeting and went through an exhaustive analysis of what could be reduced from the project’s scope.

“I think we’re all weary of cutting corners as a way to save the funds that could compromise the overall quality of the project and what the towns are expecting us to deliver,” she said.

It was also mentioned that money could be saved by painting the track black instead of red, which is one of Frontier’s colors.


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