NORWALK, Conn. – Plans for additions at two Norwalk schools were approved Tuesday night by the Board of Education. The city expects to advertise for bids this summer for the work at Naramake Elementary School and at Rowayton Elementary School.
The problems at the schools go beyond the overcrowding resultant from last year’s budget cuts, board member Steven Colarossi said in response to a complaint from a parent attending the meeting.
“When the projects were initially approved 2½ years ago, one of the issues at Rowayton was the leaky roof and the electrical system needed to be upgraded, as well as the crowding with all of the portable (classrooms),” he said. “At Naramake there is one portable now. They have actually put up drywall and made a classroom in the library which reduced the usable area and the functionality of the library.”
The four-classroom Naramake expansion planned for near the corner of King Street and Strawberry Hill Avenue is expected to cost $4.1 million and includes options to replace two boilers and/or remove floor tiles containing asbestos. The city expects reimbursement from the state of $993,428.
The bus drop-off area will be rearranged and bathrooms will be made American Disabilities Act-compliant, Norwalk Buildings and Facilities Manager Alan Lo said. The plan was to have the addition done by September 2014, but it may be a month or two late because of issues with the state, he said.
Because plans call for the addition to be built into a hill, it will feature space below the classrooms. That space will be inaccessible to the students, due to state regulations, and will be used for district-wide storage, Lo said.
The four-classroom building planned for Rowayton will be “tucked into the backside of the building, where the tennis courts are,” Lo said. The addition will also include a new gymnasium, as the current gymnasium is too small for assemblies, Lo explained. The $7.7 million project also includes a new music room and a new art room. The city expects a $1.84 million reimbursement from the state.
Colarossi said projections showed attendance at the two schools would increase, and there is little wiggle room for redistricting as both of the schools are close to the neighboring towns. Staffing issues at Marvin are contributing to larger classroom sizes, he said.
Both projects are part of the capital budget. There’s more construction planned.
An addition for Jefferson Elementary School is scheduled for 2015-2016. An addition at Cranbury Elementary is part of the 2016-2017 capital budget, while an addition at Columbus Magnet School is planned for 2017-2018.
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