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Norwalk Committee Receives an Update on School Construction Projects

A rendering of the planned new Norwalk High School.

With Cranbury Elementary School almost finished and the South Norwalk Elementary School and Norwalk High School projects getting underway, Alan Lo, the city’s building and facilities manager, provided the Board of Education’s Facilities Committee with a status report.

Norwalk High School

Now that the Common Council has approved the proposal from Gilbane Building Company for a guaranteed maximum price of $239 million, Lo said, the work is “moving ahead.”

“Earlier this week we met with the administration, two principals, some staff members, we went through some of the things— scheduling, student parking, and circulation, all the various things that will impact the school operations on the exterior,” he said. 

Lo said the contractors will be on-site during the next few weeks, putting up construction fencing and surveying the land, as well as striping Andrews Field for student parking.

Sandra Faioes, the school district’s deputy superintendent, said they’ve also been working with the police department to get extra support directing traffic near Strawberry Hill and County Street.

With the spring sports season approaching, Lo noted that he, Doug Marchetti, Norwalk High School’s athletic director, and Johanna Zanvettor, the school district’s transportation coordinator, have “worked out a whole strategy of where people are going to be.” He said they have a separate contract out for buses that will go before the Common Council’s Land Use and Building Management Committee next week.

Faioes said that by “mid-March you’ll start to see a lot of things come out,” related to more detailed communications regarding sports schedules as well as general project updates. 

South Norwalk Elementary School

The $76 million project is “moving along really quick,” Lo said, citing an aggressive construction schedule that aims to get the school finished in the fall of 2025. 

Lo said he would come back before the Board of Education and Common Council in April 2025 to give them a better sense of when the school can officially open. 

The city has been working to acquire properties around the school, but Lo said the $2.9 million the Common Council  approved for that purpose last year isn’t enough. He has requested that the Board of Education ask for an additional $3.3 million to “further provide money for the acquisition of property and relocation.” 

Lo also noted that the city is making improvements to the area around the school, including $1 million to realign the intersection in front of it, $1 million to upgrade drainage in the area, and $1.5 million to improve sidewalks. 

“All those projects are going to happen this year [and] next year, how much of these do you want to finish before we open the school? We need to look at all the other things that are happening around it,” Lo said. 

Deputy Superintendent Faioes said they’re looking to schedule the groundbreaking for Norwalk High School in late March or early April. The groundbreaking for South Norwalk Elementary School is also planned for April. 

Cranbury Elementary School

Lo touted the $45 million project, saying they plan to submit it for some construction awards now that the vast majority of the work has been wrapped up. 

“The school’s been open since September, the interior is all finished,” he said. “We finished the parent dropoff, the bus dropoff, I believe the whole layout and operation was very successful. It’s one of the biggest dropoffs we have for all the school systems, and we’re able to accommodate a lot of cars into the loop. I think it’s worked out really well.” 

Still, Lo said that the tennis courts need to be painted, the property landscaped, and the softball field finished.

Comments

One response to “Norwalk Committee Receives an Update on School Construction Projects”

  1. Bryan Meek

    It must be that pesky reval that caused the SoNo school to go up another $4.8 million in cost in just one month. Censoring the truth will make it all go away.

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