Journalism / New Haven Register

North Branford begins school renovation

By Rachael Scarborough King, Register Staff
June 2, 2008

NORTH BRANFORD — Construction is under way on the renovation of North Branford Intermediate School, where heavy machinery and portable classrooms will be a constant for the next couple of years.

The town has awarded all the bids for the $36 million project, and workers have started construction on an area where nine portable classrooms will house sixth-grade students next year, Superintendent of Schools Robert Wolfe said.

This summer, demolition is scheduled for the sixth-grade wing of the school, Wolfe added. A new three-story building with classrooms and administrative offices is planned for that area.

“We’re on target,” Wolfe said. “You’ll see a lot of activity once the students are out in about a week-and-a-half.”

Principal Alan Davis said that demolition of the old cafeteria and music building, which has been closed this year, is wrapping up and workers are starting to pour the foundations for the new facility.

“The bulk of the work over the summer will be the building of the cafeteria,” Davis said. “Right now the students are being served lunch in the gymnasium, so we want to get their cafeteria on line for them.”

Workers also recently completed a first phase of asbestos abatement, which will continue as other areas of the school are under construction. The process involved sealing off the area of the building where work was taking place so that no students or faculty would come in contact with asbestos, Wolfe said.

The renovate-as-new project involves remodeling and expanding the building to 117,000 square feet, from its current size of 69,000 square feet. Wolfe said that the new cafeteria and music rooms could be open by spring 2009, and he estimated that the entire project will take 24-to-30 months.

“The first phase is the cafeteria and the two music rooms, and they will come on line first,” he said.

Davis said that students are looking forward to the opening of the new dining room.

“I think they’re rather excited by it,” he said. “They certainly with great anticiaption look forward to be dining in the brand-new cafeteria — it’s one of the things that several of the younger students have said.”

The school district is posting periodic updates on the construction on its Web site, http://www.northbranfordschools.org.

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