Rise in tin prices doesn’t put dent in school project

Although there’s been a 30% increase in the price of tin, that hasn’t impacted the Massena Central School District’s $49.6 million capital project. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

MASSENA — Although there’s been a 30% increase in the price of tin, that hasn’t impacted the Massena Central School District’s $49.6 million capital project.

James Francesconi, senior project manager for C&S Companies, the district’s construction management firm, told board of education members that Northern Mechanicals was seeing an increase in a couple of other projects. The firm was awarded the mechanical construction contract for the Massena Central project.

“They haven’t reported that yet on this project, obviously. I think it’s because they got ahead of the game. They’re starting sooner rather than later,” Mr. Francesconi said.

“What’s the concern to Massena Central about the 30% increase in the cost of ductwork?” board member Kevin Perretta asked.

Mr. Francesconi said, at this point, he didn’t see anything related to a cost increase for the district’s project.

“There hasn’t been anything for Massena Central for that type of an increase for ductwork,” he said.

He said if a contractor indicated they had received a material price increase, “we have to see something directly from the manufacturer, from the suppliers of the raw materials that we’ve increased our price on such and such a day.”

He said they would also look at other factors, such as when the project was bid and when contracts were executed.

“We try to see, are we getting charged with an increase because someone didn’t get to us in time with paperwork... or was it a legitimate thing,” Mr. Francesconi said. “I’m not seeing that on this project, but it’s not something where someone sends us a letter saying I got a price increase.”

He said Massena Central would not be ultimately responsible for the increase if the contractor hadn’t done due diligence in submitting a bid.

“Which is in the contract documents, right, when we agreed to that contract price?” Mr. Perretta asked.

“Correct,” Mr. Francesconi said.

Bid opening for phase two of the project was held on April 22 and construction is underway, along with some holdover work from last summer’s phase one. All public bid contracts have been approved.

Work is taking place at the three elementary schools, high school and Shared Transportation Facility. The work is occurring simultaneously in all of the buildings.

Phase three of the project, which will be done in summer 2022, was submitted to the state Education Department for approval on June 25, and they expect that approval by the end of September, with a public bid in the October or November time frame.

That portion of the project will include work at the high school, junior high, Shared Transportation Facility and Central Administration Building.

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