Campus CMG hired to oversee Ken-Ton renovations

As published in The Buffalo News, by Janice L. Habuda, News Staff Reporter

A Rochester firm, with a branch office and plenty of experience locally, will oversee at least the first wave of renovations to buildings in the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School District.

Tuesday night, the Ken-Ton School Board voted unanimously to hire Christa Construction to serve as construction manager for the first $40 million or so in improvements.

Last fall, officials said at least $100 million in work is needed to update the district’s buildings; Holmes Elementary School, built in 1964, is the newest. At that October meeting, School Superintendent Mark P. Mondanaro said the first $40 million worth of work could be undertaken with no costs to taxpayers, through unspent state aid and the district’s capital reserve fund.

Christa Construction was among six companies to respond to a request for proposals issued by the district in December, according to School Board Trustee Charles J. Wuest, who heads the construction committee. Three of the companies were interviewed, then gave presentations in February.

The field was narrowed to two before references were checked.

“I highly recommend that the board approve this particular company,” Wuest said. “We need them to do what’s right in our buildings.”

Two of Christa’s executive vice presidents, Thomas Sexton and John M. Ticco Jr., appeared before the School Board on Tuesday.

The company’s construction management team has specialized in kindergarten through 12th-grade schools since 1988, completing more than $3 billion worth of projects, Sexton said. Many projects have been in Central New York and Western New York, including upcoming work in the North Tonawanda School District.

In Ken-Ton, work will be done on 15 buildings and two athletic fields. It will include mechanical, electrical and plumbing, as well as asbestos abatement.

“Obviously, we are going to have to minimize disruptions to educational activities at each of the schools,” Ticco said. The same thing goes for the neighborhoods in which the buildings are located.

Louis Reuter, vice president of the School Board, said: “I would hope that we’re not going to be penny-wise and pound-foolish in some of the things that we do. . . . I would hope there’s ample dialogue along the way . . . so that the projects move along well.”