Push is on for next phase of construction at Platt

Courtesy Record-Journal:  Dave Zajac
Emmely Rogers, a senior at Platt High School, adds notebooks to her backpack while preparing for her next class in the new wing of the school, Monday afternoon, September 29, 2014.
October 9, 2014

With students and staff now occupying the new wing at Platt High School, a project official at Thursday’s School Building Committee meeting said the push is on to start the next phase of reconstruction.

David Cravanzola, project manager for the Torrington-based O&G Industries, Inc., said that crews would be working two shifts daily and “probably overtime” to get foundations poured for the second phase of the $111.8 million reconstruction project at the high school.

“We need to get those foundations in before the cold weather sets in,” Cravanzola said.

The area in question affects a section of the current building that needs to be demolished before building up a new section. Until late last month, students and staff still occupied that portion of the school while completion of a new wing wrapped up.

Delays in setting up utilities to the new wing of the school and establishing permanent power there set the construction behind this summer.

The roughly six-week demolition process has already begun now that the wing is vacant. Cravanzola said the initial phase of removing hazardous materials from the two floors of the wing is 55 percent complete on the first floor and 65 percent on the second floor.

This phase of the school will be a 45,000 square-foot vocational technical education building that will include an auto shop, wood shop and drafting room, as well as fitness and weight rooms, a locker room, custodial area, kitchen, and cafeteria.

“The plan is to finish phase two for the start of the 2015-16 school year,” Cravanzola said. “We need to push on so we don’t find ourselves in the same position we were in this year,” when school started before work on the new wing was complete.

Meanwhile, portions of the new wing that are still unfinished are nearing completion, Cravanzola said.

Band and choral rooms received their final “punch list” touches Thursday, and should be under inspection for a certificate of occupancy today. Classes could begin moving in “over the next couple weeks,” Cravanzola said.

A largely glass media center overhanging the face of the school is also nearly complete. Construction equipment will begin moving out today and early next week, and carpet tiles will be installed Monday, Cravanzola said.

Final painting and tile work in the school’s pool is also underway, and set to be complete by mid-November.

Across town, progress in the $107.5 million reconstruction project at Maloney High School is also “lagging behind a little bit,” said Anthony Iaccarino, of the Glastonbury-based Gilbane Construction Co.

Provisions such as moving some rooms around in the existing building to make way for demolition, to make up for the time during the second phase have been put in place, Iaccarino said.

The girls locker room was moved to the area of the existing boys locker room and a corridor, while the boys locker room was moved to what had been a girls locker room, book room, faculty lounge, and corridor. Additionally, an exit from the gym area has been added to what had been a loading dock, to create an emergency exit.

School Building Committee member John Benigni asked Thursday if the temporary changes were going to work.

“These kids have been dealing with a lot of changes, a lot of shuffling lately,” he said.

Assistant School Superintendent Michael S. Grove responded, “Is it as nice as it’s going to be when we’re finished? No. Is it as nice as what we have now? Probably not. But will it get us through? Yes.”

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