Milford, CT – “We needed more money because asbestos was discovered under the gym floor,” said Director of Management Services Philip G. Russell, referring to the gym floor replacement project at Jonathan Law High School. The Board of Aldermen’s Ordinance Committee will consider borrowing the money at 7 p.m. Monday at City Hall. A proposed ordinance requests increasing the appropriation for replacing the gym floor at Jonathan Law High School by $125,000 to $255,000. It also addresses increasing moisture correction at the mold-plagued John F. Kennedy School from $180,000 to $255,000.
Cost for School Improvements Soared
In June, aldermen approved borrowing $3.1 million for projects at 10 city schools, including roof repairs, correction of moisture and air quality problems and window replacement. It was part of an ordinance that allows borrowing for the first year of Mayor James L. Richetelli’s $58 million, five-year capital improvement plan. Ten years ago, the school board hired a company to identify asbestos in the district’s schools, but none was detected at the gym, Russell said. Because the asbestos is underneath the floor and not friable, it is not a health concern, he said. But aldermanic Minority Leader Gayle Slossberg, D-1, said the situation presented a “major health concern.” “It’s frightening to think nobody on our school board prior to this realized there was asbestos under that floor,” said Slossberg, adding she would vote to approve the borrowing and have the asbestos removed as soon as possible.
Air Quality Improvement Project
With the Kennedy air quality improvement project, bids were solicited for more than 20 heat pump units controlling air pressure and humidity and drawing fresh air into classrooms, said Russell. If aldermen approve the ordinance, the bid will be awarded for the second-lowest bid of $201,064 by Emcor Service/Tucker Mechanical of Meriden. Although the Law gym floor would probably not be ready when school begins on Aug. 28, Richetelli was confident the Kennedy project would be ready. “All work will be done by the first day of school,” he said.