Groton considers $2.16M in school projects

Groton - A draft of the schools capital improvement plan seeks $2.16 million for the coming fiscal year, including about $777,000 for additional school security.

Facilities Director Bill Robarge outlined the proposal to the Board of Education finance committee Monday night. The committee voted unanimously to authorize Michael Graner, who takes over as superintendent next month, to present it to the full board.

"It's a work in progress right now," Robarge said of the proposal.

The bulk of the spending would invest in improved school security, heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems and removing asbestos.

Specifics of the plan include:

• $445,000 to remove nonfriable (or nonairborne) asbestos from Charles Barnum Elementary, which opened in 1965 and was added to in 1970.

• $316,000 to add security cameras in the parking lots, common areas and around the perimeter of Fitch High School. The school has 60 cameras, but additional ones are needed, Robarge said. The proposal also includes $20,000 to study the possibility of installing an artificial turf field.

• $250,000 to add "sally ports," or small entrance areas, and a second layer of doors at the main entrances of six elementary schools. Sally ports create a small area where visitors wait before they are let into a building, rather than allowing them to pass into hallways before checking in at the school front desk.

• $200,000 to plan improvements to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system at West Side Middle School. The proposal also looks ahead and programs more than $3 million to cover construction of the system in the 2015-16 fiscal year.

• $200,000 to plan improvements to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system at Carl C. Cutler Middle School. The plan would also spend $170,000 at Cutler to plan a new electrical system at the school.

• $111,000 to improve security at Catherine Kolnaski Magnet School and Northeast Academy in common areas and around the buildings.

• $100,000 to plan improvements to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system at Charles Barnum.

• $109,000 to plan roof repairs at S.B. Butler Elementary School.

• $80,000 to plan improvements to the parking and driver access area to Mary Morrisson Elementary School.

• $64,513 to replace lights in gymnasiums with energy-efficient bulbs. The project would also receive money through a utility rebate program.

d.straszheim@theday.com

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