Saxe Building Committee

Recent Articles

Officials: Piles of Dirt at Saxe To Remain through Next Fall Unless Some Other Place Is Found for Them

The dirt piled conspicuously at Saxe Middle School will remain there through the major, estimated 15-month construction project now underway unless some place else is found for it, officials said Tuesday. Mounds of topsoil located off the corner of Farm Road and South Avenue and elsewhere at Saxe are to be returned to the site “to smooth it back over” once a major renovation and expansion concludes next fall, according to Penny Rashin, chairman of the Saxe Building Committee. Responding to a question from Selectmen Beth Jones at a Board of Selectmen meeting, Rashin said she was aware that “everybody is going to want to know about the dirt because you see it as soon as you come in on South Avenue.”

Jones asked about it because, she said, “if I was a junior high kid and I saw those big piles of dirt, I just would not be able to resist.”

“You will need a monitor for that,” Jones said at the meeting, held at Town Hall. The exchange came as Jones and First Selectman Rob Mallozzi voted 2-0 to approve a guaranteed maximum price in the construction manager’s contract for the project, which will see parts of Saxe expanded and a 12-room addition created on the campus. Officials in a ceremony broke ground on the project last week, minutes after school had let out for the summer. Continue Reading →

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‘This Moment Marks the End of Two Years of Planning’: Officials Break Ground on Saxe Middle School Project

About 30 minutes after the final class of this academic year on Thursday afternoon, town and district officials gathered on the lawn near the northwest corner of the Saxe Middle School campus for a ceremonial groundbreaking of the facility’s widely anticipated renovation and expansion. Penny Rashin, chairman of the Saxe Building Committee—a group of volunteers who initially had signed up for a far smaller project, after PCBs turned up 18 months ago in the school’s auditorium—told about 50 kids and grownups who attended the ceremony that “this moment marks the end of two years of planning for the Saxe Middle School project.” (more…) Continue Reading →

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‘I Am Worried About the Town’s Exposure’: Cautiously, Selectmen Approve Contract Change To Expedite Work at Saxe

Seeking to gain eight or nine precious workdays after school lets out, town officials on Monday effectively expedited a handful of contracts connected to the Saxe Middle School renovation and expansion, totaling nearly $6 million. Facing a delay in the widely anticipated $18.6 million project—a holdup caused in part, officials say, by the EPA taking longer than expected to approve abatement and remediation plans—members of the Saxe Building Committee at a special meeting of the Board of Selectmen requested an amended contract for the project’s construction manager on agreements with five vendors. Given that the delay would cost about $70,000 to $75,000 per month, Mallozzi noted that savings here would come to approximately $18,000. The selectmen voted 3-0 in favor of the amended contract, though only after receiving some assurances vis-à-vis the town’s risk, since they were asked specifically to allow the amended contracts, totaling $5.8 million, “prior to the determination of the guaranteed maximum price.”

“So what we are doing today is saying to [construction manager] O&G is, ‘Go ahead and let’s engage these five vendors, but we cannot guarantee right now to the town’—which is what you folks have a responsibility to do—‘we cannot guarantee what the maximum pricing of this project is going to be,’ ” Mallozzi said at the meeting, held in Town Hall. “So my deal as a selectman is: We want to save the $18,000 and speed up by eight or nine days the construction, but what is the risk to the town? Continue Reading →

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‘There Has Got To Be a Better Solution’: Town Officials Reject Single-Lane Exit from Saxe at South Avenue

Saying motorists already back up onto South Avenue during busy drop-off and pick-up times at Saxe Middle School, town officials on Thursday night bucked at a recommendation from the state to change the driveway’s two-lane exit to one. Doing so would exacerbate a problem of traffic and would be “a near impossibility,” Police Commission Chairman Stuart Sawabini said during the group’s regular monthly meeting. “I am more than in favor of the Saxe expansion and all the rest, but what you are suggesting will create such a huge bottleneck,” Sawabini said during the meeting, held at the New Canaan Police Department. “There has got to be a better solution. My other understanding is that the exiting cars off of the back [of Saxe, on Farm Road] are not allowed because it’s bus time and the gate closes. Continue Reading →

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‘You Had Me At Hello’: First Selectman Supports Addition of Special Ed Admin in Public Schools

The town’s highest elected official last week voiced support for the Superintendent of Schools’ request to add a third full-time special education administrator to New Canaan Public Schools’ staff. Designed to more effectively manage special ed staff and cases, the addition is “something important to my values,” First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said Wednesday during the first presentation of Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi’s draft proposed budget to the Board of Selectmen. “If we have enrollment that is driving this, then that’s [why] we all voted for [the expansion at] Saxe,” Mallozzi said during the presentation, held in a board room at Town Hall. “This position here is some that on an emotional and any kind of level seems very important, so I am delighted to see it in the budget.”

“You had me at ‘Hello’ with this,” Mallozzi said with respect to the request, offering high praise for the two administrators in place now and their ability to carry a large workload. Currently, two administrators divide the work of overseeing special education in the public schools—evaluating and supervising all staff, communicating with parents, sitting in on meetings, keeping abreast of developments in special ed requirements and regulations—one responsible for pre-K through fifth grade, the other sixth grade through “Launch” (any special ed student through age 21). Continue Reading →

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