EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

September 26, 2013

Kittredge gym project gets a $50K boost

By Paul Tennant
ptennant@eagletribune.com

---- — NORTH ANDOVER — The effort to include a hardwood floor, padded walls and basketball hoops in the new Kittredge School gymnasium has been made easier, thanks to a $50,000 transfer from one project to another.

Town Manager Andrew Maylor told the selectmen Monday night he and other officials reviewed the plans for the new school administration headquarters, which will be constructed on the site of the former police station at Osgood and Main streets, and determined that project could be reduced by $50,000.

The initial total projected cost of the school headquarters, including the design work that was approved at the 2012 Town Meeting, was $2,695,000. The annual Town Meeting on May 19 approved $810,000 for Kittredge School’s new gym.

The first bids received, however, were about 30 percent higher than that amount, according to School Committee Chairman Stanley Limpert, who also heads the School Building Committee. The town rebid the gymnasium project and this time, the proposed numbers were more favorable.

The contract was awarded to Seaver Construction Co., which submitted the lowest bid of $789,000. The School Building Committee, however, had to scale back the project to lower the cost.

Among other things, the committee agreed to settle for a concrete instead of a hardwood floor. The revised plan also did not include padding for the walls and basketball hoops.

Kittredge Principal Richard Cushing, teachers and parents set an ambitious goal for themselves: Raising $100,000 to provide students and the rest of the community with a full-fledged gymnasium.

They still have their work cut out for them because the cost of a hardwood floor will likely exceed $70,000, according to Cushing. Their first fundraiser, Corks for Courts, an evening of wine tasting and appetizers, will take place Wednesday, from 5 to 8, at Stachey’s Pizza, 21 High St.

Tickets cost $75 each. To buy a ticket, contact Cheryl Means at corks4courts@gmail.com or 978-387-6170. To contribute to the direct donation campaign, visit

www.crowdrise.com/KittredgeGymnasium.

“We are appreciative of the town manager’s efforts to help facilitate us to a proper move out of the cafegymatorium,” Cushing said, referring to the classroom-sized space at Kittredge that has served as cafeteria, gymnasium and auditorium for decades.