Town officials last week approved contracts totaling $682,000 for furniture and equipment for the Saxe Middle School addition that’s taking shape along Farm Road.
The contracts and funds, built into the overall $18.6 million project, came before the Board of Selectmen in its capacity as the purchasing agent for the town.
Part of “phase three” of the Saxe renovation and expansion, the items received state approval and have been vetted by New Canaan Public Schools administrators to ensure all technology equipment meets district system requirements, according to Penny Rashin, chairman of the Saxe Building Committee.
“Really this is the technical equipment and the furnishings for the classrooms being built and renovated,” Rashin told the selectmen at their regular meeting, held March 7 at Town Hall.
The $682,000 total includes $440,000 for furniture, fixtures and equipment, up to $212,000 for technology equipment and a contingency of $30,000. The board voted 3-0 to approved the contracts.
Selectman Nick Williams asked whether the project was on budget and on time. Rashin said it was.
Selectman Beth Jones said: “I think it’s very exciting that we are to the furniture stage now.”
According to Rashin, the addition now has its staircase in, “so you can go up to the second floor now without going up a ladder.”
The Saxe Building Committee—in addition to Rashin, it includes Vice Chairman Jim Beall, Secretary Ken Campbell, Molly Ludtke, Alan Sneath, Bill Walbert, Amy Murphy Carroll and Dr. Jo-Ann Keating—broke ground on the project last summer. It includes the renovation of the 59-year-old auditorium at Saxe, as well as a “right-sizing” of music rooms that a building committee immediately identified as a need, and a 12-room addition that emerged a few months later to address rapidly rising enrollment at the overcrowded middle school. New Canaan’s public funding bodies, the Town Council and Board of Finance, each unanimously supported the project following well-attended public hearings in the fall of 2015, at which dozens of galvanized parents and other residents, including some students, spoke out in favor of it.
With respect to signing off on contracts, First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said at the meeting, “This is exactly what we are here to do and we want to support you.”