The whirring sound of electric saws and steady pounding of hammers fills the air behind Monroe Town Hall during the daytime as construction crews work on the $4.1 million building project to modernize police facilities. Concrete has been poured for the foundations of two additions and a brand new 120-foot monopole for police communications is already up and running.
The town paid for concrete with the strength of 3,000 pounds per square inch (psi), but received 4,000 psi for no additional cost, according to Brian Humes, the architect for the project.
Dolphin Construction, the Monroe Police Department and Clerk of the Works Frank Bent are also working well together, Humes told the building committee during its meeting last Thursday.
"These are things you should be aware of as a committee and proud of," he said. "The project is going very well."
There were also some unforeseen conditions. For example, old piping and stumps were buried in a dump hole on the site and giant boulders were buried in another. Humes said the pipes, boulders and 60-year-old stumps had to be removed and replaced with fill.
The building committee approved a $21,575 change order for the removal of the stumps and other debris and a $10,609 change order for the hole with the boulders.
Building committee members want to ensure that all change order requests by the contractor are reviewed so a determination is made on whether or not they should be granted — and in a way that does not lead to delays in getting work done.
A chain of command was established. Requests of up to $10,000 would go to Building Committee Chairman J.P. Sredzinski, more than $10,000 up to $14,999 would go to the full committee, $15,000-plus to the Town Council, and $150,000 or more to a Town Meeting. When Sredzinski is unavailable, fellow building committee member Ronald Villani will be called.
After Thursday's meeting, Bent gave committee members a tour of the construction site. Going forward, he will share weekly progress reports on the project with the committee.