School construction projects making progress

Published on Wednesday, 19 April 2017 22:50
Written by Skyler Frazer

Staff Writer

NEW BRITAIN - The School Building Committee was provided updates on the Smalley Elementary School renovation project by architecture firm Fletcher Thompson in the committee’s meeting Wednesday afternoon.

Michael Marcinek from Fletcher Thompson said the firm recently met with the state’s Office of School Construction to discuss design changes recently made to the Smalley project.

“We went through the issues they had come up with earlier in our previous meeting. They felt very good about the changes we made,” Marcinek said. “They highly approve the plans going forward.”

Kate Ryan from Fletcher Thompson said the design team from the firm has also recently met with Smalley Elementary School Principal Elsa Saavedra-Rodriguez and the school’s staff to discuss the design plans with them.

“We want to make sure that at the end of the day, we’re providing a building that is going to be usable for the school and meets all their needs education-wise and storage-wise,” Ryan said. “I think we’re at a really good point from her (Saavedra-Rodriguez) feedback that we’ve got all the spaces programmed in the building.”

Ryan said some of the things discussed were making sure there was adequate book and custodial storage space and resource rooms in the building.

One new element of the school design the firm presented was a new vestibule attached to the auditorium and gymnasium. This structure would allow the use of those areas after school hours without providing full access to the school.

Marcinek said the firm is still working on the design and development phase of the project, and after that finishes they will submit their final design to state officials for approval.

“It looks like a totally different school,” said Chief Facilities and Special Projects Officer Ray Moore.

In other action Wednesday, the committee approved a $16,400 bid from Accurate Insulation for the removal of a ceiling from Pope John Paul School II.

After a recent study at the school, less than 1 percent of asbestos was found in the glue holding sheetrock on the ceiling.

Federal law requires that if any asbestos is found in a construction project it must be treated as an asbestos removal project, Moore said.

The committee also approved multiple progress payments for work being done on both the Smalley renovation project and the Pope John Paul II School renovation project.

The committee approved a $10,575.89 payment to Newfield Construction, a $35,150 payment to M.A. & M. and a $113,061 payment to Fletcher Thompson.

The School Building Committee will next meet at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, May 17.

Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at

Posted in New Britain Herald, General News, New Britain on Wednesday, 19 April 2017 22:50. Updated: Wednesday, 19 April 2017 22:53.