Freehold Borough school construction projects enter final phase

FREEHOLD – The Freehold Borough K-8 School District Board of Education has authorized increases totaling $292,674 in a contract for work on a construction project that will address the issue of student overcrowding in the district.

On Oct. 1, board members approved three change orders in a contract with Newport Construction for additions and alterations at the Freehold Learning Center elementary school, Dutch Lane Road. The original contract with the firm was for $8.39 million. Following the approval of five change orders, the contract is now $9.03 million.

One recent change order is related to the excavation of soft soils associated with site work on the project. According to the resolution, samples taken at the Freehold Learning Center site revealed soil in certain areas with a saturation content unsuitable for the placement of a building pad and foundation.

When the issue was revealed to and assessed by district administrators in December, the construction manager, contractor, architect, structural engineer and geotechnical engineer determined it was necessary for a soil observer from the geotechnical engineer’s firm to oversee the removal and replacement of saturated soil with stone, according to the resolution.

Another change order is for the additional cost and survey of regrading. Still another change order is for the labor and material for the removal, overexcavation (removing unsuitable foundation material) and replacement of soils at parking lot areas adjacent to the site work’s addition. The final change order at this time relates to the extension of time and labor associated costs to extend the contract date due to the soil conditions, according to the board.

In other business on Oct. 1, the board authorized an increase of $39,342 in a contract for work at the Park Avenue Elementary School and the Freehold Intermediate School. The contract is with G&P Parlamas for additions and alterations at the Park Avenue Complex. The change order is the 10th approved by the board.

The initial contract with the firm totaled $17.81 million. The 10th change order will increase the contract to $18.17 million. The latest change order was authorized for material and labor for the removal of the existing cafeteria 2×2 lighting and its replacement with new 2×2 LED lighting.

The board is undertaking a $33 million construction project to expand the district’s three schools: the Freehold Learning Center; the Park Avenue Elementary School; and the Freehold Intermediate School. District administrators have said the projects are expected to be completed by the end of the year.