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School Committee Recommends $19.4 Million Bridge and Bowman Plans

Committee recommends adding $5.2 million in renovations to renovations at the two schools.

The Lexington School Committee voted to recommend expanding the scope of renovation plans for the and elementary schools, bumping the projected total cost by $5.2 million.

"For $5.2 million more, we could make changes in the school that would make expository and positive visual changes to the schools," said School Superintendent Paul Ash at the Tuesday, Nov. 30 committee meeting.

Discussion centered around whether the school committee would commit to with the more expensive, expanded scope designs for repairs, costing a projected $19.4 million, or, as Ash called it, the "meat and potatoes," less expensive base scope renovations for $14.2 million.

Construction on the base scope design was slated to start in 2011 and continuing until 2012.

"It's a program that a student wouldn't even notice, but are necessary repairs, the things that need to get done," Ash said.

The repairs center around new windows, HVAC units, replacement of boilers and more universal handicap access, and a new roof for Bowman,

The expanded scope design comes with a $19.4 million price tag, and due to specifics in the construction, couldn't be started until 2012, slated to be finished in 2013, a year after the base scope designs.

The expanded scope includes all renovations of the base scope, but would also include a sprinkler system, ramped up security measures and administration offices, increased classroom space, an upgraded HVAC unit and upgraded electrical and lighting systems.

The Bridge and Bowmen renovations and repairs are aimed at extending the life of the schools for 20 to 25 years, with a steadily increasing student population soon to break 500.

"We want to show the town we have learned from past projects and pick the right design," Ash noted.

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