Years after the district started a project to replace a school’s aging septic tank, officials have hired a construction company to finish the job.
The Board of Education on Thursday, May 16, accepted a bid of $137,999 from Amity Construction for the work.
In 2016, the kindergarten playground at Pequenakonck Elementary was torn up to replace the school’s septic system, but after two years, the work remains unfinished, depriving students of a play area.
Superintendent Ken Freeston said the state Department of Health held up some aspects project, but one of the main reasons it’s been slow going is because the district had its in-house facilities team do the work rather than hire an outside contractor.
However, last month the district’s facilities committee decided the most efficient way to complete the project was to hire a contractor.
The new septic system will be about twice the size of the old one to accommodate a larger school population. The new system is expected to last 40 years to 45 years and is being paid for with a $12.7 million bond voters approved in 2015.
“The septic project is divided into four zones or quadrants which encompass both the repair of existing fields and an expansion which will provide additional capacity,” Freeston said. “The first quadrant (A) has been completed by our staff and approved by the Department of Health (DOH). But, the work has gone slowly due to delays caused by weather and time lost in getting approvals from the DOH. Our goal is to complete the remaining work (quadrants B, C, and D) by September in order take advantage of the warm weather and summer vacation.”
Septic repairs in quadrant B, which are closest to the building, will be completed early in the summer and the area will be reseeded.
The expansion area, quadrants C and D, will follow and is expected to be completed in August.
Restoring the playground area affected by the septic project is also going out to bid. The entire playground area will be resurfaced. The climbing wall will be removed and a new feature will replace it.
The playground is expected to be completed over the summer and be open for use when school begins in September.