WILTON, Conn. The ongoing delays in the $40 million project to renovate and expand Miller-Driscoll Elementary School are ridiculous in the view of some parents, according to PTA President Dave Crays.
The project has mushroomed in cost and scope since it was proposed five years ago as an addition of a special education and preschool area. Crays said the initial stumbling block came when the fire marshal laid down the law, requiring that any major work include a sprinkler system. But installing sprinklers would involve ceiling work that would disturb asbestos, another obstacle, he said.
Further, any upgrades to heating and cooling system or even repairs to the leaky roof would require the addition of sprinklers and the danger of disturbing asbestos, the PTA president said.
The job's current price tag would make it the largest capital project ever undertaken by the town, according to First Selectman Bill Brennan.
This week the project hit another bump when the Board of Selectmen determined that a key document, the statement of requirements, was incomplete and it was sent back to the Board of Education. The statement, prepared for architects and engineers to define the scope of the work, was rejected in part by the towns Council of Public Facilities.
We recognize that the portion of the SOR that deals with the special education and preschool is 'exceptionally' complete, said Malcolm Whyte, chair of the Council of Public Facilities. The part that needs work concerns maintenance upgrades to the school, Whyte said.
The Board of Selectmen asked the Board of Education to report back at its next meeting, Monday, Feb. 6, with a date when the statement will be completed.
Whyte offered the Board of Education the assistance of the council in rewriting the statement, and school board Chair Bruce Likly accepted.
From a parent's perspective, I want it to be whatever makes sense in the long run, and I dont want the kids being exposed to the dangers any longer than they have to, Crays said. They can patch, but they cant really fix. And patching after a while becomes just as expensive in the long run."
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.