By NEIL ZAWICKI

The Milton Town School District on Aug. 26 awarded a bid to Essex-based KJ Construction to build its new administrative office building, to be located at 12 Bradley Street, just South of Milton Elementary and Middle School. The firm beat out five other contractors with a price tag of $899,790.  

Funding for the project came from a $1.3 million bond the voters approved on Town Meeting Day. 

The bid award comes after months of discussion, dating back to January, on how best to add space to the growing district. Specifically, there was a need for more classroom space at the elementary school, which also housed the district offices. 

In order to convert Discussions centered on whether to build a detached modular office space to make way for new classroom additions, or to invest in a traditional building. 

The district ultimately opted for a new building, but by temporarily moving the district offices to the high school was able to hire KJ Construction and Colchester-based Architect Weinmann Lamphere to design and build the new elementary classrooms before the start of this school year for a total cost of $235,395. 

District Facilities Director Bruce Cheeseman, in asking the board to choose KJ Construction for the project, wrote that the firm was not only the lowest bidder, but committed to completing the project within 20 weeks. Further, Cheeseman said the contractor has an established relationship with the district.

Cheeseman and District Superintendent Amy Rex met Aug. 29 with representatives from KJ Construction and Weinmann Lamphere to finalize plans. From that meeting, Rex said the contractor is expected to begin work Sept. 9. 

What that means, according to KJ Construction Project Manager Doug Brigante, is setting up fences and beginning to prepare the site. 

“It’ll basically be a slow start on that day,” he said.

Brigante said the district handled the permitting fees and submission ahead of the bid award in order to streamline the process. Rex said that the projected finish date is for mid January, “ff everything syncs.”

“Of course, with any construction project, weather, sub-contractor timing and availability all play a role in the timeline,” wrote Rex in an email response. She also said some slight modifications are being made “to align with the district’s budget.” These modifications include sizing of windows, door frames and flooring materials.