Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pumpkin Delight Elevator Project Goes Up..Up...and Up!

The elevator at Pumpkin Delight Middle School is finally being installed after several years of complaints. Parents of disabled students thought it unfair that their kids could not reach the classrooms on the second floor.

The Americans with Disabilities Act also requires that all public buildings and places be equipped and built to accommodate disabled people. This includes properly sized bathrooms to fit wheel chairs, mirrors and sinks to be at a handicapped friendly height. Braille signs are also required for the visually impaired and of course an elevator and ramps where there are stairs.

The current problem is, that Pumpkin Delight School does not have an elevator, and the Board of education priced out the elevator and got an estimate requiring a $350,000.00 appropriation from Milford's Taxpayers CLICK HERE for original estimate.

Earlier this year the elevator issue became a point of contention, because parents and teachers who wanted to keep their neighborhood school open cited the cost of this elevator as a reason to choose Pumpkin Delight for closing instead of Simon Lake which is 100% ADA compliant. However, the Board of Education disagreed citing more land for expansion at Pumpkin Delight Click HERE.

The decision was made based on budgetary cutbacks to education that required revamping the school system to save money. Money that the Board of Alderman and the Board of Finance would not restore to the Board of Education. The board of Education was forced to redesign the school district at the behest of its interim Superintendent Michael Cummings Click HERE.

Thus far, and finally, the appropriation to make Pumpkin Delight ADA compliant has been made only it appears that the Republicans in charge have made an error of gross proportions. They were not properly quoted the cost of the elevator and are now nonchalantly asking the cash strapped taxpayers of Milford and Board of Education for another $70,000.00 for the "uplifting" elevator project CLICK HERE for new cost.

This additional funding over the original estimate is an outrage and deserves explanation. None has been given and the taxpayers were basically ignored by the media who said nothing about why the price "shot up" another 20 percent. This Elevator was quoted about a year ago, and why the cost is being allowed to be "jacked up" by the contractor is a mystery.

We need to demand answers from our Mayor on why this "Wonkavator" is so out of range from its original estimate. We need to investigate and ask why nothing has been said to the press or the people of Milford. "Forking over" another $70,000.00 of our children's education money to a contractor who can't stick to his original estimate is reprehensible and a disgrace. This is truly frivolous leadership and this article should be forwarded to decision makers in town while demanding answers.


Anonymous said...

Any one who was paying attention to the hidden numbers last spring saw this one coming; and don't be surprised if the cost ends up being even higher than this latest amount. Another question to be asked is how much more is the district paying for bussing than originally estimated? They've gone beyond the additional "we only need eight more busses" to restructure the schools. Ask also about the costs of the still ongoing construction at the Pumpkin Delight building; you know, the one with the "new boiler and parking lot" (the latter of which had to be partially ripped up because they couldn't fit the additional busses in the bus lane -- which, ironically, was another reason that had been given for closing the Simon Lake building) and more land (although they neglected to state how much of that extra land was unbuildable). The problem is that not enough people were paying attention, or rather continued to pay attention. We went from over 1000 parents at that first meeting to three at the last one in June. Every one who gave up and said "the decision has already been made, what can we do?" handed a blank check the individuals pulling the strings on this decision. Our effort to hold our Board accountable now fell short; let's hope Milford voters remember next November. Oh, and there is another Bd of Ed meeting on Monday the 27th. Wonder how many Milford taxpayers will stop by?

Anonymous said...

As always the "devil is in the details" I would love top hear the truth on this one that is: "the state is hopefully going to pay for it so the people of Milford should shut up and mind their own business."

From my vantage point theft is theft and the rigged overinflated and criminal estimates they put together should be investigated by the FBI.