FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Superintendent of Schools David Title unveiled a 175-page book Tuesday night outlining a $149 million budget request for 2012-2013. But that wasn’t Title’s only funding pitch.
The superintendent and his staff presented a second book describing $2 million in renovations they’d like to carry out next year. Most of the projects focus on updating aging heating systems and improving potentially unsafe areas in school buildings.
The Board of Education requested funding for some of these projects in 2011, but was turned down by the Representative Town Meeting. “We put those back in, because those problems did not go away,” Title said Tuesday.
The three projects Title wants the town to reconsider are repairs to the façade and cornice at Tomlinson Middle School, new boilers to replace the 40-year-old models at Dwight Elementary School and the second half of proposed bathroom updates at Jennings Elementary School.
The plan includes two other jobs at Tomlinson. Along with the façade work, the district hopes to install new floors in eight classrooms. They are also asking for $150,000 to redo dropoff areas to improve traffic.
The largest of the new proposals is a $791,400 project to replace the windows at Osborn Hill Elementary School. The current windows at the Stillson Road building are the single-pane originals, installed during its 1958 construction. The district plans to put in more energy-efficient, two-pane windows.
“These windows have reached the end of their useful lives,” the proposal says. “Replacement parts are difficult to come by, and the single-pane design is not energy efficient.”
The district also plans to install new heating oil tanks at eight schools: Dwight, Jennings, North Stratfield, Osborn Hill, Riverfield, Sherman, Fairfield Warde and Fairfield Ludlowe. The current tanks are all past their state-mandated age limits and need to come out of the ground.
The administration plans to replace them with smaller, cheaper tanks to be used only if the natural gas systems at each school break down. They estimate the replacements will cost about $250,000.
The full list of projects, including photos and descriptions, is available on the district’s website. The Board of Education will vote on each of these renovation plans on Jan. 24. The Board of Selectmen, Board of Finance and Representative Town Meeting must also approve each individual project along with the 2012-2013 budget.