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The good news is that no funding has been lost for the new Morgan School Project; the bad news is that timelines have been delayed due to permit acquisition both at the state and federal level.
According to State Representative Tom Vicino and Clinton Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jack Cross, at the present time no funding for the $64.7 million new Morgan School construction has been disturbed due to an extended timeline.
The state is still committed to funding $19.1 million of the cost of the project, which includes the construction of the new high school on 35 acres on the Route 81 property.
The holdup on the timeline, according to the Morgan School Building Committee Chairman Gerry Vece, is the Condition Letter of Map Revision (CLOMR) required from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, due to the fact that wetlands on the site will be affected by replacement of a culvert.
The culvert replacement also required the completion of both the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Programmatic General Permit (PGP) and the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) 401 Water Quality Permit, which ensure that any discharge is consistent with the federal Clean Water Act and the Connecticut Water Quality Standards. Based upon the extent of the work, each of these applications required the completion of a flood study to analyze the impacts of the work within the floodplain and floodway.
"Since the new flood study we have been required to do, which we didn't think we originally had to do, there has been a delay in getting permits because some flood lines have been changed," Vece said.
Hopes are that all the necessary paperwork and permits will be in place sometime in the next few weeks, allowing the committee to put the construction project out to bid in May.
"Once it begins we've been told construction of the new school will take a total of 22 months, from the time the first shovel is put in the ground until the doors officially open," said Vece.
Other permits required by DEEP are also needed at this time, but according to Vece these permits cannot be obtained until the CLOMR permits are in place.
"It's a little frustrating right now. We are kind of in a holding pattern, but in the meantime there is still significant work being done on the design aspect of the project," said Vece. "The committee is still meeting on a regular basis, and the bid package for the project is ready to go as soon as we get the authorization from the state."