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Newton North project lurches along

Posted by Ralph Ranalli March 21, 2007 03:10 PM

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Although Mayor David B. Cohen urged quick passage of a design for a new Newton North High School, his negotiators still have not finalized a contract with the construction manager at risk.

Mayoral spokesman Jeremy Solomon said the delay is not “substantive,” but relates to “scheduling conflicts” between the city and Dimeo Construction, the company that is supposed to oversee construction and guarantee against cost overruns.

Meanwhile, aldermen are dragging their feet on approving Cohen’s request for $131.9 million for construction. That delay stems from board members, many of whom who originally complained about the high price tag of the school, now reconsidering cost cuts.

Paul Coletti, the board’s influential Finance Committee chairman, has written Cohen asking him to restore elements to the design, bringing the total construction cost back to $141 million. Coletti did not specify what elements were mentioned in the letter, but the board has previously discussed restoring a more efficient heating and cooling system, a glass and brick exterior, a balcony in the school theatre, and sloping roofs instead of flat.

-- Connie Paige

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