Burrillville school district hires contractor for $427K media center upgrade & COVID coordinator

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BURRILLVILLE – Narragansett-based contractor Martone Service Co, Inc. has been awarded the bid for a $427,746 contract to renovate the Burrillville High School media center into a student-centered hub, a project approved last year as part of a series of improvements scheduled for town schools.

The firm was one of six bidders to submit proposals for the project, which will be funded through a $7.2 million school construction bond approved by voters in 2020. The funding is slated to address upgrades to all five Burrillville schools, including everything from roofs and boilers, to landscaping. More than half of the spending for school renovation is expected to come back to the town through housing aid reimbursements from the Rhode Island Department of Education.

Design plans for the new media center drafted by Torrado Architects of Providence envision an internet cafe type-atmosphere with a STEM classroom, a DaVinci room, a Maker’s space, flexible seating and other amenities. Martone is expected to install new rubber floors and lighting, and divide the space where the center is now, also adding a small kitchen.

Supt. Michael Sollitto said the district plans to begin work at the high school in the next few weeks with hopes to have the project completed by late January.  

School Committee members unanimously approved the bid for the contractor at their meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 12.

Sollitto also announced Tuesday that the district has also hired a new full time COVID coordinator utilizing recently awarded grant funding. The school department was awarded a $104,360 epidemiology and laboratory grant, which will fund the position, along with a second part time job.

Certified Nursing Assistant Giovanni Monteiro was hired for the role and had his first day of work the day of the Tuesday meeting.

“He’ll be working at all five of our schools coordinating with the school nurses and administration to handle any day to day issues that come up that’s related to COVID,” said Sollitto.

The new hire, who Sollitto noted has extensive experience working with COVID testing, is also expected to manage the district’s after school voluntary testing site once it’s up and running.

“He will also be helping with contact tracing after school hours,” Sollitto said.

Monteiro will work on a rotating basis Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and the superintendent said he expects to hire an additional part time staffer for Tuesday and Thursday.

“We’re really glad to have him on board and to give our school nurses and our principals some assistance in those areas,” Sollitto said.

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