GPS Capital Projects Update

Keeping you updated on Greenwich Public Schools projects

October 2021 (volume 2, issue 1)

A message from GPS

The GPS Capital Projects Update newsletter has returned for the second year for the sole purpose of providing accurate, timely, and transparent updates to you - the Greenwich community - on the ongoing major capital and maintenance projects underway across the District.

This issue will highlight just a few of the completed and active capital projects Greenwich Public Schools are working on.

As you know, bringing our facilities up-to-date with the Americans with Disabilities Act has been a key priority for many years in our District. We have devoted an entire page on our website to ADA accessibility in our buildings and ongoing and/or future projects by school site. We encourage you to review the pages to get all of the details.

We know everyone is very interested in an update for Cardinal Stadium after an amazing temporary opening on October 2 to give our student-athletes a day to remember. A special thanks goes out to the Town of Greenwich staff, BOE Member Joe Kelly, GPS staff, BOE, BET, and RTM elected officials, and patrons who have supported this project. The next day, the construction team planned to be back on site to continue the final pieces.

For our next issue of GPS Capital Projects Update we hope to give you a full report on this project and Western Middle School's fields!

The GPS website has more information about many of these projects, an archive of these newsletters, and the full Facilities Master Plan.

Thank you!

Dr. Toni Jones, Superintendent of Schools

Sean O'Keefe, Chief Operating Officer

Board of Education Capital Projects

Below are budgeted numbers for BOE capital projects to show the significant and consistent progress we are making.

The overall pre-FY22 available balance is now at $13.5M, a decrease of $5.2M from the May 2021 financial report. Since the start of the 2020-21 fiscal year, the overall pre-FY22 available balance has decreased by $24.4M (-64%).

A question we get all the time is: Why do we still have a balance from 3-4 years ago? Are we not getting projects done? There are three possible reasons why dollars remain from previous years:

  1. A project was done in a bundle, such as large roofing projects across the District which take multiple years to complete.
  2. Funds cannot be accessed until the budget is approved, and often, the summer is too short of a timeframe to complete a project from start-to-finish before the start of the school year.
  3. A project is planned to be a multi-year project, such as the Eastern MS window project. We try to accomplish as much as possible over a period of 3-4 summers because the windows must be back in place to start school.
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North Mianus School Update

As everyone is aware, North Mianus School suffered extensive damage in February 2021 due a Saturday-morning ceiling failure that fell onto sprinklers leading to flooding, affecting 14 classrooms, five restrooms, media center, computer laboratory, staff lounge, health suite, art room, an office suite, and two staff offices. This led to our third, fourth, and fifth graders to be relocated at the former-Trinity Catholic High School campus in Stamford, while the kindergarten-second graders were able to stay at North Mianus School's main campus. Please head to our website for a full report and informational documents on the project.

We want to update the entire GPS community that the project is progressing on schedule, with a project timeline to get teachers and students back into the building around the Holiday Recess.

The construction team is doing an outstanding job working hard to get NM back on track for everyone to be in the same building again. New HVAC equipment has been installed for four rooms that did not have prior service. The final connections and controls will be completed by November.

Every classroom under construction will have the full ceiling replaced and we are replacing water lines. Millwork is being fabricated off site and we are patching and prepping walls for paint, installing flooring coverings that were damaged, replacing hung ceilings, and light fixtures are being updated via an Eversource incentive plan.

Once the construction is complete, we hope to get the certificate of occupancy sign offs quickly. Approved funding by the BET is $4,652,912 for this project.

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The top two images were taken in February 2021 shortly after the ceiling collapse, while the bottom two images were taken recently of some of the great construction work being done.

Cos Cob School Playgrounds

Have you seen the new age-appropriate, ADA-compliant playscapes at the Cos Cob School that were completed over the summer of 2021? Last year, the younger group playground was replaced, and this summer, this new project started in early July 2021 and was completed and open to students on September 6.

All of the playgrounds were installed following ADA guidelines. When we met with the equipment vendor, we discussed ADA compliance and we were assured that their product design followed appropriate guidelines. The rubber ground covering, which is now standard in all new Town of Greenwich playgrounds, replaced the old woodchip ground cover and provides an accessible and safer surface.

The replacement cost for the two age-appropriate playscapes was approximately $450,000, funded from the FY 2021 budget as well as funds left over from previous installations. Costs were higher than anticipated, and future estimates will need to be revised.

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Cos Cob School HVAC

The Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning system at Cos Cob School had been deteriorating over the past few years and needed replacement That, along with the need to review options to combat the spread of COVID-19 led to the GPS Facilities Department to conduct an assessment. The tests were completed by the mechanical engineering firm of Landmark Facilities Group and the results of the review of the equipment were as expected: five of the six air handling units are over 28 years old and have exceeded their useful life. Repairs and maintenance to these units has become almost impossible as parts have become unobtainable. The project started as soon as funds were released after the Interim Appropriation was approved at $1,477,000. That allowed us to pre-purchase the HVAC equipment. The project was substantially completed by August 29 and on-budget. Commissioning and fine-tuning will take place over the next few months.

Hamilton Avenue School Field Improvement

Neighboring property owners, members of RTM (Representative Town Meeting) District 3 and the broad school community had been advocating for improvements to the Hamilton Avenue School field for many years. If you have driven by the school recently, it is easy to see how much our students and neighbors love having the fields open again.

For a full report on the work that was done, please go to our website for details.

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The field at Hamilton Avenue School on a beautiful autumn afternoon.

Greenwich High School Fields Soil Remediation Project

The environmental investigation and remediation activities that began at Greenwich High School property in July 2011 have progressed to the second phase (Phase II) of remediation under the Connecticut Voluntary Remediation Program. Following the completion of initial interim remediation measures to ensure the school was safe for use, the Town completed several years of investigation and remediation activities. The Town continues to work with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environment Protection (DEEP) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reach agreement on the remainder of cleanup activities for the site.

Phase II activities for Field 4 commenced in June 2021 and will continue through Fall 2021. This work will include the replacement of the artificial turf for Field 4. Field 4 and a portion of Field 3 will remain closed through Fall 2021.

Phase II site work will impact certain athletic field availability through 2023. The bullpen areas and grass area outside the Field 5 (softball) outfield fence and one row of parking will remain closed for the duration of the project.

The school continues to be safe. Parking areas and most athletic fields are available for use during the school year.

For a more detailed update, please read our full report.

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Greenwich High School Entrance & Security Vestibule

The Board of Education approved the design of for the GHS entrance & security vestibule designated Scheme 4, Option 1 at their September 9 meeting, as recommended by the Building Committee.

Silver/Petrucelli + Associates, Architects/Engineers/Interior Designers of Hamden, CT was hired to provide architectural and planning services centered around securing the front entry/main entrance to Greenwich HS. Currently, the Committee is looking at starting the construction for this project in the Spring of 2022.

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