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Open houses slated for two renovated schools in Stonington

Mystic — With the project to renovate and expand Deans Mill and West Vine Street schools almost complete, the K-12 School Building Committee has scheduled two open houses next month.

The West Vine open house will be held Saturday, Sept. 21 and the Deans Mill open house Saturday, Sept. 28. Both will run from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and will include short ribbon-cutting ceremonies and tours.

Building Committee Chairman Rob Marseglia said the open houses are an opportunity for residents and former students who might not otherwise have a chance to tour the schools to do so.

“As a building committee, we’re proud of the schools and we want to show them off,” he said.

There will be opportunities to visit the gymnasiums, cafeterias, libraries, office, playgrounds and a few classrooms. Building committee members will be on hand to answer questions.

“We want people from town to see how their tax dollars were efficiently spent. This project came out great,” Marseglia said.

Except for some final small items, he said the schools will be ready to welcome students on the first day of class on Tuesday. The project is now expected to cost $3.5 million less than the $69 million in bonding approved by voters. With $27 million in state funding, the project will end up costing taxpayers $38.5 million plus interest on the bonds.     

“Some really good cost estimates and competitive bids led us to be able to come in under budget,” Marseglia said.

The schools are opening about six months later than initially projected because of work to abate PCBs and asbestos had to be completed.

Marseglia commended Gilbane Building Co., the project’s construction manager, and Collier’s International, the owner’s representative, for their work as well as site contractor Mizzy Construction for getting the needed grading and paving done at Deans Mill School in time for Tuesday after demolition of an old wing of the school a few months ago.

“From the building committee’s perspective, we are excited about the schools opening and for students and staff to be able to use them the way they were designed,” he said.

Some portions of each school were finished when school opened last September but work continued through the 2018-19 school year.

“The building committee’s perspective was to use quality construction methods and quality materials so we can get another 50 years out of these schools with normal maintenance and without any major structural work,” Marseglia said. “This is a huge improvement for the town of Stonington.”

Marseglia and his fellow committee members spent the past five years working on the project at countless meetings and site visits. He especially thanked members of the committee’s finance subcommittee for their long hours of work to ensure the taxpayers’ money was spent wisely.

j.wojtas@theday.com 

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