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GETTING RESULTS: New Rochelle School District Releases Engineering Reports on Failure of Ceiling at Webster School

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GETTING RESULTS: New Rochelle School District Releases Engineering Reports on Failure of Ceiling at Webster School

December 18, 2015 - 17:53
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NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Two days after the stunning defeat of their $50 million bond proposal, the City School District of New Rochelle has released two engineering reports on the Webster School. The release of the reports is part of one of the reforms called for ReformFirst.org, an ad hoc group of parents and taxpayers that opposed the school bond on the grounds that certain reforms needed to be made before the district could be trusted with a $50 million bond for capital improvements to the school’s facilities.

The two reports were prepared by Greenman-Pederson (GPI) for CSArch working on behalf of the City School District of New Rochelle.

According to the first report, Thomas Ritzenthaler of CSArch contacted GPI on the afternoon of August 5, 2015 following the report of a ceiling collapse at the Daniel Webster Elementary School. GPI was provided a copy of the 2010-2011 Building Condition Survey (BCS) report and was asked to conduct an emergency site assessment to inspect the collapse zone and other suspect ceiling areas on the second floor of the building. The report presents GPI’s observations, findings and recommendations.

Report on Webster Ceiling Collapse (.pdf)

According to the second report, representatives of CSArch and GPI conducted multiple site visits and field investigations to review ceiling conditions on the first floor and basement level of the building. From those investigations and discussions between representatives of CSArch, GPI and the School District, there was growing concern over the structural integrity of the first floor basement ceiling systems. This report presents GPI’s observations, findings and final recommendation regarding the safety of building’s existing ceiling system

Report on Webster FirstFloor (.pdf)

Talk of the Sound will provide analysis of these reports at a later date and would welcome the input of residents with relevant experience (call 914-325-4616 or email [email protected]).

Still missing is a report prepared by Mike Orifici of Capital Project Consulting. Schools Superintendent Dr. Brian Osborne has denied the existence of the report in a formal notice to the New York State Committee on Open Government, obstructing a Freedom of Information request by Talk of the Sound. Filing a false written instrument with the State of New York is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison.

Talk of the Sound has obtained invoices from the school district paid to Capital Project Consulting for the report which proves the existence of the report. Osborne and Orifici claimed during a bond hearing in October that a different report, the so-called CapProSoft report was the report sought under a FOIL request, a report delivered to Osborne by Orifici in July 2014. Talk of the Sound has also obtained invoices from Southern Westchester BOCES that proves that work to prepare the CapProSoft report was not completed until November 2014 and the report itself was not published until March 2015 making it impossible that the CapProSoft report was delivered to Osborne as claimed by Osborne and Orifici in July 2014.