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School fixes would total $11.5 million

By Joe Wojtas

Publication: The Day

Published February 03. 2014 4:00AM   Updated February 03. 2014 10:30AM

Stonington - After years of putting off needed maintenance, it will now take $11.5 million over the next decade to fix the town's schools, according to a new study.

When he presented the report to the school board's finance committee last week, Superintendent of Schools Van Riley told members that school Facilities Manager Ken Donovan examined every major system in the six schools and the administration building and then determined when the system was last replaced, its life expectancy and its replacement cost.

In many cases, the systems should have been replaced 10, 20 or 30 years ago. In the case of West Broad Street School, the electrical and plumbing systems should have been replaced 90 years ago.

The report looks at items such as plumbing, electrical systems, heating and air conditioning, lighting, parking, roofing, carpeting, flooring, paint and security.

Riley said some areas are long past needing replacement but until now the school system had no plan to do so or projections of how much the work would cost.

"If our town and community want to keep our facilities up to speed then this is the plan," he said, adding there could be some grant funding to help offset some of the cost.

The work would be spread out over 10 years to help lessen the budgetary impact

The largest cost is to replace roofs, at more than $3 million. Last week, the school board agreed to ask the Board of Finance to immediately appropriate $569,00 to fix leaking roofs at Deans Mill School.

After the report is approved by the school board, Riley said, it will be presented to the Board of Finance and the community "so they know what we have to do to keep our schools in great shape."

The report comes as the K-12 School Building Committee continues to looks at renovating and expanding the town's three aging elementary schools. Some of the work in the facilities plan could be eliminated if it was done as part of the elementary school project, which could cost as much as $40 million. That project would have to be approved by voters.

The town is also still paying off the bond for $39 million expansion and renovation of the high school and is just beginning to pay the bond for the recent $2.8 million of improvements to the high school athletic fields.

j.wojtas@theday.com

UBOX

PROJECTED COSTS

Deans Mill School: $3.1 million

Pawcatuck Middle School: $2.6 million

Mystic Middle School $2.2 million

West Broad Street School: $1.7 million

West Vine Street School: $967,000

Stonington High School: $378,000

Administration Building: $264,000

SOURCE: STONINGTON SCHOOL STUDY

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