Niagara Gazette

Local News

December 6, 2012

Falls schools' capital project moves along

Niagara Gazette — Two additional contracts for the Niagara Falls City School District's capital improvement project were approved Thursday.

Bolton Land Surveying, of Pulaski, N.Y., and Professional Service Industries Engineering Services, of North Tonawanda, were both hired to do professional work for the district at the recommendation of its architect, Cannon Design.

"We're coming to you now because we need to get this work started (as soon as possible)," Assistant Superintendent Mark Laurrie told the board.

The surveying company will receive up to $46,900, while Professional Service Industries Engineering Services, a soil and land testing company, will receive up to $18,305 to complete their work, according to their contracts.

Professional Service Industries Engineering Services previously worked with the district when it built the current high school in 1999.

The soil testing is required by state law for any new building, Laurrie said, adding the district is building several new athletic fields, an athletic field house and eight additional classrooms at Kalfas Magnet School.

But while approving the contract with the testing company was relatively simple, passing 8-1 with little discussion by board members, the approval of the surveying company wasn't quite as smooth.

Several board members were unimpressed with the district recommending a company from outside the Niagara Falls area, a goal many of them said was part of the original project.

"Part of our goal with this whole project was not only to help the school district, but to help the workers and the professionals in Niagara Falls," Board Member Johnny Destino said. "Right off the bat, we're hiring an out-of-town land surveyor. I just want to make sure it doesn't happen again."

Destino was one of three board members who voted against hiring Bolton in a 6-3 vote. And at least one of the yes votes was cast simply because time is of the essence.

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