Summer facilities projects spruce up school buildings
Summer facilities projects spruce up school buildings
Posted on 09/12/2014
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WEST HAVEN, Sept. 9, 2014 — West Haven Public Schools might have seemed quiet this summer without their usual flurry of activity, but maintenance crews were busy at district buildings with repairs and upgrades.

The district completed facilities projects totaling around $75,000 at five schools—Washington Elementary School, Alma E. Pagels Elementary School, Seth G. Haley Elementary School, Edith E. Mackrille Elementary School and Bailey Middle School—before school started. Meanwhile at other district schools, workers spruced up buildings by cleaning, landscaping, performing minor paving and curbing improvements, and making lighting and signage changes.

Supt. of Schools Neil C. Cavallaro said it’s important to maintain buildings for students’ and staff members’ safety and to take a proactive approach when it comes to preventing minor infrastructure problems from growing and requiring large expenditures in the future. At times, preventative work can mean large-scale improvements, but that type of substantial preventative project has generally not been feasible in the district over the past several years due to budgetary and bonding constraints.

Cavallaro said he was pleased that many district maintenance employees had the skills and certifications to complete much of this summer’s work in-house, requiring the district to only use outside companies for a limited amount of projects.

“With aging buildings, there is definitely work to be done each year. We of course prioritize upgrades that need to be done to protect the safety of our youngsters and staff and ensure those are completed. But we also have a running list of facilities projects that are preventative or that we feel will better accommodate our school populations and aid in educating students,” Cavallaro said. “Each year, we take care of safety-related projects or necessary repairs, and then base our other projects on the remainder of our facilities budget.”

This summer’s work involved heating systems, sidewalks and minor building work.

BOE maintenance employees installed a new hot water heater at Mackrille, while Pagels now has a new concrete sidewalk connecting the street crosswalk to the school sidewalk, thanks to BOE crews. Meanwhile at Haley, BOE maintenance workers constructed a new handicapped ramp for special education classes to enter and exit the building safely. They also moved four classrooms to the east wing of the school.

BOE maintenance employees made repairs to a sidewalk at Bailey’s front entrance and converted an old locker room at the school into a music classroom and storage area with a new floor, electrical system, shelving and other classroom necessities.

Outside contractors replaced and rebuilt sections of a Bailey boiler that was initially thought to be in need of a complete replacement, and installed new flooring in corridors of Washington’s second and third floors and stairwells. Outside crews also put a new fire-resistant ceiling in a boiler room at Washington.

The district is planning for a few small projects over the next few months, including the creation of a new sidewalk behind Pagels as a safety measure for fire drills and the installation of more fencing adjacent to the outdoor basketball court at Mackrille—additions that were both recommended by the fire department. There may also be improvements to a rear entrance door at Carrigan.

 

Contact: Communications Director Susan Misur, 203-937-4300 X7114; susan.misur@whschools.org