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Monday, April 14, 2008

Work on high schools means late start in fall

By Brian McCready
Milford Bureau Chief
— Once again students will go back to school later in the fall, as officials say they will need an extra week to ensure a $7 million renovation of both high school’s science labs is completed.
Permanent Schools Building Committee Chairman Matthew Woods said the current school year was delayed until after Labor Day because officials hoped the science labs would have been renovated last summer, but bids came in too high necessitating the work be put on hold.
Woods said after the Board of Aldermen approved $7 million last week for the science labs, it ensures the work will take place this summer, but more time is needed, meaning school will once again start after Labor Day.
“It will give us more time to get the work done,” Woods said.
“We need the late start to have the least disruption to the educational process,” added school board Chairman David Hourigan, D-4. Woods said he personally has some concerns about whether both Jonathan Law and Joseph A. Foran high schools science labs will be ready, but crews will get a start on the work this week while school is on break.
He said asbestos floor tiles will be removed from both schools, but all of the furniture in the affected areas will be moved out of the school and stored in trucks.
“We determined there was no way it could be done by the Board of Education staff,” Woods said.
Finnegan’s Moving, of New York, will receive $25,171 to move items at Foran, and $19,363 for work at Law. Woods said movers will have to return in the summer to relocate all of the items.
Woods said the PSBC will award the contract April 22 for the science labs work. The low bidder on the Law science labs, which includes replacing some windows, is Connecticut Carpentry, at a cost of $3.35 million. The low bidder for the Foran work is Paragon at $5.53 million.
“We’ve been talking about the science wing for at least the last 10 years,” Hourigan said. “It’s time to get it done.” School board Majority Leader Greta Stanford, D-1, who used to work in the Foran science department, said there washe only 18 labs to be split for 30 students, which caused a serious space crunch.
“We worked under a lot of duress,” Stanford said.
For the past several years, renovations to both Jonathan Law and Joseph A. Foran high schools have been moving along in phases. At Law an elevator was installed, the cafeteria was expanded, and new windows have been installed in the school.
At Foran, less work was completed due to the discovery of lead dust in ceiling tiles. The city is working to remove the lead dust.


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