EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

June 13, 2013

Committee wants to cut windows from proposed gym

By Paul Tennant

---- — NORTH ANDOVER — The new gymnasium planned for Kittredge School may be constructed without windows.

Instead of having a hardwood floor, children may be playing and exercising on a concrete surface.

School Building Committee Chairman Stanley Limpert said these are among the possibilities being considered by the panel. The May 21 Town Meeting appropriated $810,000 for the gym, but the town received bids from three contractors that were about 30 percent higher than that number, Limpert said.

Thomas Peterman, the architect hired by the town to design the gym, has been reviewing the plans to try to find areas where savings could be made, Limpert said. The School Building Committee met Monday night and discussed eliminating the windows and forgoing a hard wood floor.

Limpert, who also serves on the School Committee, noted that the Sargent School gym does not have windows.

The town will probably end up rejecting the three bids received and readvertise for new proposals, he said. Kittredge, on Main Street, across Route 125 from North Andover Middle School, is the only public school in North Andover that does not have a gymnasium. The “cafegymatorium,” so dubbed by Principal Richard Cushing, functions as cafeteria, auditorium and gymnasium.

Plans call for the new gym to be attached to the rear of the school. Peterman said another saving might result from not replacing an outside drainage line.

Committee members made it clear they don’t want the town to build a substandard facility.