SOUTHINGTON — Officials told the Middle School Building Committee that students returned to school without any issues despite the ongoing construction.
Board of Education Chairman Brain Goralski said construction projects always require a lot of attention to detail. Goralski said the projects at Kennedy and DePaolo middle schools have been going smoothly, but there’s always contractual issues along the way to make renovations complicated.
With school back in session, committee members were unsure how the transition would be for students. What was a construction zone during the summer became a safe environment for student learning.
“I’ve remodeled a house, we can remodel a school,” Goralski said. “This is bigger than a house and we’re doing the right thing.”
Chairman Edward Pocock Jr. III said the committee has weekly visits to schools to ensure site safety and traffic flow.
Project executive Tom DiMauro of Newfield Construction said each school has clearly marked signs labeling where buses can be, staff members can park and where parents can drop off and pick up their children.
“The construction is proceeding on in areas in which are the additions,” DiMauro said.
By the end of September, shift hours for workers will start after the school day is over and students are out of the building. DiMauro said this way they can move construction along inside the building.
“Some are there during the day to tie up odds and ends of what the school needs, do logistics and put signs up,” he said.
As far the first day of school last week, DiMauro said, “I think it went smoothly.”
On Friday afternoon a bus delay at DePaolo delayed buses for elementary schools. Committee members said they’re working with the police department and bus company to make sure delays won’t happen again.
“We’re moving along and doing our best to keep the buses on time,” committee member Christopher Palmieri said.