December 6, 2022

The Needham Channel

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Anticipated Costs Bring Emery Grover back to STM


Aired September 29, 2022.

The Town of Needham will request appropriating more funds for the Emery Grover renovation at the Special Town Meeting on October 24, 2022.


reported by Yuxiao Yuan
Article 10 in the October Special Town Meeting warrant seeks additional funding for the renovation of the Emery Grover School Administration Building. Although it still needs all the bids to come in for the final total, the Permanent Public Building Committee estimated the overall price to go up by four and a half million dollars.

During the past year, Town Meeting authorized nearly 21 million dollars to start the process of preserving and modernizing Emery Grover. The historic building was built in the late 19th century and has not seen a major renovation since the 1930s. The cost also includes expenses for minor modifications to the Hillside School, which will serve as swing space during construction, and is expected to be completed by the end of this year. The updated budget is estimated at $25,330,000–an increase of four and a half million dollars over the authorized funding.

At the select board meeting on Tuesday September 27th, Stuart Chandler, chair of the Permanent Public Building Committee said 40 percent of the project has received bids from contractors, and their price overall is below the new budget. “…So that’s a good early indication it’s not a set-in-stone number. There’s a couple of pieces to bring to your attention. One is that within three of the sub-bids, file sub-bids, is a low bidder GVW, but there’s a stipulation to those sub-bids. Those three sub-bids that is, if they win the general contracting they will take that sub-bid. If they do not win the general contracting those sub-bid low bids are off the table. So just to give you a perspective, and not to cast numbers in stone, but if everything were to go and flow properly from a sub-bid perspective, we’re about four hundred thousand dollars under the budget.”

Chandler continued,”We have one other element which is the elevator. There’s been no bid on the elevator, so we’ve got to have to hold the budget at 345 in that number. If GVW does not win the general contract, and we have to take the next lowest bid, we’re sitting at about 200 000 less than the budget.”

Director of Design and Construction, Hank Haff, explained what is included in the remaining 60%. “That 60% typically covers any of the heavy structural steel that goes into it, concrete, exterior site work.”

All contractors need to submit their bids by October 6, and a final number will be available for a vote at Town Meeting on October 24th.


This story ran as part of the Needham Channel News, a weekly newscast airing on The Needham Channel every Thursday at 7:30pm. The Needham Channel News can be found on the Community Channel: Comcast 9, Astound 15 and Verizon 29. Most Thursdays it also can be viewed on our HD Channel on Verizon 2129, Astound 613 and streaming on this site.