QAVTC students making headway on renovations to High Street house

Dave Bellis, right, a local contractor and teacher at the Quincy Area Vocational-Technical Center helps Jeffrey Wittner, left and Tanner Stout get dimensions on an interior room during renovation work at 2424 High Street. (H-W Photo/Michael Kipley)
Posted: Mar. 18, 2013 5:47 pm Updated: Apr. 1, 2013 6:15 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

Students from the Quincy Area Vocational-Technical Center's building trades classes are making progress in their efforts to renovate the house at 2424 High Street owned by the Quincy School District.

QAVTC director Mark Pfleiger told members of the School Board's Building Committee Monday that students are in the "demolition phase" of the renovation project.

For example, students discovered a minimal amount of insulation in the walls of the house, so they've been tearing out the existing plaster and drywall so insulation can be installed in an optimum manner, Pfleiger said.

"Right now, they're getting real dirty," he said. "Some of them aren't real happy about that, but that's part of remodeling."

Pfleiger said the student work crews also discovered the home's galvanized water supply lines were heavily clogged with corrosion and lime deposits, so project leaders decided to replace all the water lines.

"It's great for kids to see this type of work," Pfleiger said.

Dave Bellis, a building trades teacher supervising the renovation work, told the Building Committee in a letter that the renovation project "has bene a great learning experience for my students."

Plans call for completing the renovations by the summer of 2014. The district will then be in a position to sell the house and use the proceeds to buy another dilapidated home that could be fixed up, marketed and sold as part of an educational experience for students.

Students are discovering that "remodeling can be a big challenge," Bellis said in his letter.

"I stress to them to do it right the first time, don't cut corners and to be proud of what they are doing because their name, and all of our names, will be on it," he said.

In other action Monday, the committee recommended the School Board award a one-year contract -- with the board having the option for two one-year renewals -- to Allied Waste Services for waste disposal and recycling services.

Allied's bid calls for charging the district $29,560 in the first year of the contract and $93,188 for all three years. The only other bid came from Area Disposal Service, which offered to do the work for $58,417 the first year and $180,646 for all three.

"That's a huge discrepancy," committee member Gretchen Merris said of the competing bids.

Rich Royalty, the district's interim business manager, said he checked with the two companies to verify the bid offers were correct. He said Allied apparently "wanted it more, I guess," and was willing to submit a lower bid.

The bids will now be forwarded to the full School Board for action at the board's meeting Wednesday night.