Consultant Certain Unity School Will Be Ready for Next Academic Year

Unity — A consultant for the new elementary school is certain the K-8 will be completed before the start of the next school year, the School Board said Tuesday night.

“He is very knowledgeable and very positive,” board member Bob McDevitt said about Gordon Bristol, hired last week as the district’s representative on the project. “He sees no issues that can’t be handled and does not see why Trumbull-Nelson shouldn’t finish on time.”

Construction manager Trumbull-Nelson was hired earlier this month to replace Scott Vaughn after concerns that the school would not be ready for the 2014-15 school year.

Bristol, from Williamsville, Vt., will work with the firm along with Vaughn, who remains the project’s architect, to complete cost estimates for finishing the school.

Work at the school was stopped last summer because plans were not complete and it has not restarted.

Unity students have attended school in Claremont since school started.

McDevitt said he did a walk-through of the new school this week and Trumbull-Nelson officials told him they would definitely have a “not to exceed” number to finish the school next month.

That figure will appear as a bonding article on the March 22 annual school meeting warrant. This year’s annual meeting will be held in the Claremont Opera House because of ongoing construction at Stevens High School.

In response to a question from resident Joe Warner, the board said it estimates that at $65 an hour, Bristol will be paid $82,000 over the next eight months.

Also Tuesday night, the board completed its review of a proposed school budget of $3.67 million, an increase of $176,300 from this year. The budget will be presented to residents at a public hearing on Feb. 18.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at