Dirty business ups cost of vacant school demolition in Dalton MA

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DALTON — One of the costliest projects in recent Dalton history just got a little more so.

Though demolition of the old Dalton High School looks complete to those passing by on First and Field streets, the town still is dealing with a 45-ton problem.

The contract awarded to knock down the long-vacant 60,000-square-foot building called for the contractor to remove about 30 cubic yards of clean soil.

But the work turned up another 30 cubic yards of contaminated soil that needs to be taken to a special disposal site. Town Manager Kenneth Walto says Dalton will have to agree to a change order on the job that will push the cost up by about $12,000.

That represents about 1 percent of the expense of removing the 1926 school, ahead of future work to sell the land as house lots.

Ritter & Paratore Contracting of Utica, N.Y., was the low bidder on the demolition project last fall, at $1,067,414. The same company’s bid for additional work at the site was $1,197,114.

Aside from the lingering problem with contaminated soil, work on the former school parcel has continued, including recent paving work that expanded available parking at the Dalton Senior Center.

Larry Parnass can be reached at lparnass@berkshireeagle.com, at @larryparnass on Twitter and 413-496-6214.

By Larry Parnass, The Berkshire Eagle

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