School officials and the Cohasset Education Foundation have big hopes for the foundation’s gala on Friday night – and beyond that, for transforming the middle-high school library into a 21st-century learning commons on a very aggressive timeline.
“Things are moving,” Superintendent Louise Demas told the School Committee Wednesday.
Officials met with designer Stefura Associates on March 24. By April 13, administration will identify an in-building project coordinator who can act as a point person, rather than hiring somebody off-site. The position garners a stipend and has been posted internally.
Stefura will present plans for the floors, walls, ceilings, and electrical installations on March 25.
After that, work can begin. Demas said they’re looking for a paint crew, and Interim Business Manager John Tuffy is working with the pros at Stefura to handle bids. Some elements will not go through a formal bidding process, based on a cost threshold and on tasks that can be done internally.
For instance, laying the new carpet should be bid out, but tearing up the old one might not have to be. Window treatments, since they cost less than $10,000, don’t need to be bid out, but $97,000 worth of furniture should be.
“This is a very cost-conscious group regarding which things go out to bid,” Demas said in praise of the designer.
The grand unveiling of the new learning commons is projected to take place in late August or early September.
The CEF gala on April 7 stands to be the single biggest push toward reaching the $250,000 fundraising goal for the learning commons transformation. When the foundation presented the first $100,000 installment on March 15, they were still about $80,000 to $100,000 shy.
Proceeds from the Deer Hill spelling bee on March 19 were channeled into the project, and there are future fundraisers slated at Buttonwood Books and Toys and Chipotle.