FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Students will see fewer leaks, safer drop-off areas and other benefits when they return to school next Thursday after nearly two dozen renovation projects were completed at Fairfield Public Schools this summer.
Fve schools had their roofs restored as a warranty extension plan. North Stratfield, Osborn Hill, Riverfield and Holland Hill are already complete, and Roger Sherman School should be finished soon.
The district also repaired leaks at Roger Ludlowe Middle School and three all-purpose rooms, and it installed a new lining on the parapet at McKinley School. Phase one of the four-year project to replace Fairfield Warde’s leaking roof will also be done by the first day of school.
“Anything that leaks I think is important to fix,” said Thomas Cullen, director of operations for Fairfield schools. “A lot of the roof projects are going well.”
The latest phase in Sherman’s construction project is also ahead of schedule and should be ready by Aug. 30. The ventilation system was revamped this year to allow more fresh air to flow into classrooms.
Fairfield Ludlowe’s gymnasium also had ventilation work done, to go with the new floors in parts of the school. The long-in-the-works window replacement at Ludlowe will have to wait until next summer, but Cullen says the PCB testing is finished without problems.
Tomlinson Middle School saw the most work this summer. Its front façade and flooring were repaired. New fire doors, however, will have to wait until later this fall because of a long preparation time.
But the most noticeable change will be Tomlinson’s front lawn. Much of the area has been paved for a new drop-off lane designed to ease congestion during the morning rush hour.
Parents dropping off students will now have three options for unloading kids: the newly installed lane, the lower lot accessed through the train station lot, and the old drop-off area along the access road that runs to Round Hill Road.
“It’s not a perfect fix for the site,” Cullen said. “That’s almost impossible because the site is so tight. But this should make a big difference.”
Other small projects should be finished by the start of school. The second group of Jennings School bathrooms have been renovated and made handicap accessible, matching the first half done last year. Mill Hill got new ceilings in its classrooms and upgrades to its front office. Dwight School received a new boiler to replace its 40-year-old model, and eight schools got new fuel tanks in place of decades-old versions.
A few projects Cullen’s crew hoped to get to this summer will not be ready by Aug. 30. The most famous is Osborn Hill’s windows, which are still waiting for PCB issues at the school to be resolved. The district will continue to post updates on its website with the latest on that project.
New carpets in Fairfield Ludlowe’s Library Media Center, and new sinks and counters at Mill Hill will be delayed because of materials. Fairfield Woods Middle School’s new lockers will not be installed until next summer at the new principal’s request.