School Buildings Should Be Ready for Kids on First Day of School


New Canaan’s public school buildings “are looking great” and should be ready for students when school starts, Jo-Anne Keating, the director of finance and operations for the school system recently told the Board of Education.

“Everything is clean or getting there,” Keating told the board at its Aug. 17 meeting. “We’ll be ready for the kids.” School starts Thursday, Aug. 27.


Various projects were started this summer. Here’s Keatings’ description on them, by school:

Saxe Middle School

Work on the auditorium was “very close to being finished if not complete,” Keating said. Regarding the larger project at Saxe, the town winnowed down six candidates to four for an outside project manager.

West Elementary School

The school district has hired a hydrogeological engineer to look at water problems at the school. Money had been put aside for the gymnasium area, but there are water problems beyond that area, so the district has hired hydrogeological engineer. Keating said she expect to have more information on what work may be needed before the capital budget for next fiscal year is put together.

South School

In one project — to replace classroom windows — the windows have been replaced out, and the school has been cleared for occupation. Wood will remain on the windows until new frames have been delivered. Replacement of the frames will take place after school starts and “should be completed by the end of September, if not earlier,” Keating said.

That work will be done after hours, not during the school day. Individual classes will need to be moved to other rooms for for a day or so for the window frames to be replaced.

The lower playground has had work completed on it. Work on the upper playground, donated by a parent-teacher group, was not yet started as of Aug. 17, but that was expected to begin soon.

Curbing around the front of the school has been replaced.

The town was scheduled to fix large potholes in the school driveway by last weekend.

After pressure tests for various school oil tanks was done in late May or early June, the results showed South needed maintenance work done on its heating fuel system. That project was due to be complete by the end of last week.

East School

Last winter, during the heating season, school maintenance employees were having trouble keeping the boilers running. Some water was getting into the tanks and they had to repeatedly pump them out very frequently, Keating said. After testing they discovered that water was coming in through the lines.

The fuel line at the school needs to be replaced, she said. “So in order to get through the heating season this year, we really do need to do this project and its best to get it done before school starts, because the line literally does go across the bus route. that’s going to start [Tuesday of last week].” The project was expected to be done within a few days, so the building should be ready for students on the first day of school, she said.



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