New Platt wing ready Sept. 22

Courtesy Record-Journal:  Dave Zajac
An almost all-glass media center nears completion at Platt High School Wednesday, July 30. The room, which will be equipped with computers and studying lounges, juts out 30 feet from the face of the building.
September 12, 2014

While it’s still pending approval from a slew of final inspections, city and construction officials differ on when they expect the new wing of Platt High School to open for teachers and students.

The new wing, parts of which are visible from Coe and Oregon avenues, should open Sept. 22, project manager David Cravanzola said during Thursday’s School Building Committee meeting. Cravanzola leads Torrington-based construction company O&G Industries in the $111.8 million reconstruction project.

“We’re just doing punch list items now,” Cravanzola said.

Committee consultant Glen Lamontagne said, however, “I think we’re probably a week off of what Dave (Cravanzola) predicts.”

The new portion of the school will be used as a freshman academy, and includes 60,000 square feet of classrooms, science classrooms, a media center, and band and choral rooms.

Final inspections by the fire marshal, building inspector, and an elevator inspection were completed this week. Cravanzola said there were “a couple little hang-ups” in the elevator inspection, and a re-inspection was set up for the coming week.

The results of the fire marshal’s and building inspector’s reports weren’t known at Thursday’s meeting because the inspections overlapped with the meeting time.

A final certification of occupancy inspection will be complete this coming Wednesday.

“Even if all that passes, we’re still waiting on furniture,” Lamontagne said. He added, however, that old furniture from the current building could be moved into the new wing in the interim if it passes all occupancy inspections. He has estimated that moving furniture and people into the new building should take about five days.

“The main thing is safety,” said committee Chairman Matthew C. Dominello Sr. “We don’t want to rush to get students in there if the building’s not ready yet.”

Committee member Bruce Fontanella added, “Now that we’ve missed the opening day of school, there’s really no rush to open up the new building.”

Meanwhile, even by Cravanzola’s count, two areas — the media center and the music rooms — won’t be open until mid- to late October as work continues in those rooms.

The media center juts out 30 feet from the face of the school, which limits the amount of equipment that can be used in the room at once, Cravanzola said, adding that weight restrictions are slowing progress there.

The concrete slabs in the band and choral rooms are some of the only existing slabs that will remain in the new building, Cravanzola said.

Testing of the concrete showed that it contained more than three times the recommended amount of moisture, prompting an “unforeseen” need to essentially seal the concrete to prevent groundwater from seeping up and ultimately ruining new vinyl flooring in the room, the project manager said.

Once students and teachers are moved into the new wing, construction crews can begin demolishing the part of the old building where they are now, starting the second phase of the renovation. A foundation has already been poured for part of the new phase, though the work is roughly a week behind schedule because of issues that delayed the first phase.

Construction of the 15,000-square-foot natatorium at Platt is also underway, and Cravanzola said that he expects to turn it over by November.

Students at both of Meriden’s high schools have been sharing the pool at Maloney in the meantime, and will switch once Platt’s pool is open, freeing up Maloney’s for construction there.

Story courtesy of the Meriden Record Journal.  You can read the original story on