Milford schools

Milford schools see $ 84 million in upgrades and ‘high prices ahead’, official says


MILFORD – The city’s public schools plan to spend up to $ 84.7 million on capital improvements over the next five years, according to the school system’s 2022-2026 Capital Improvement Plan.

The plan has no money attached and is typically used as a planning aid to anticipate the needs of the school system over the next five years, director of operations James Richetelli said at the board meeting this week. .

“The plan helps the board of directors and helps the city plan projects for the future, especially when it comes to finances,” Richetelli said. “Dollar amounts are not exact estimates as these are often large projects and require the assistance of professional consultants to develop accurate estimates.”

James Richetelli, Director of Operations for Milford Public Schools.

Hearst Connecticut Media Photo File /

Schools are required by the city’s charter to create five-year capital improvement plans, and the state also reviews the plan for projects for which the city and principals plan to seek reimbursement from the school. ‘State.

Topping the list is the partial roof replacement at Joseph A. Foran High School, estimated at $ 3.5 million and scheduled for fiscal year 2021-22.

Joseph A. Foran High School announced its first term honor roll.

Joseph A. Foran High School announced its first term honor roll.

Contribution photo

Another priority project is the expansion and renovation of Live Oaks Elementary School, scheduled for the 2023-24 school year at an estimated cost of $ 15 million.

The Harborside Middle School renovation is on the list for 2024-25 at around $ 23 million.

Richetelli said planned improvements to Harborside would give it parity of facilities with other middle schools in the city.

“The project will bring Harborside to the level (of) additions, renovations and upgrades that we first did in East Shore and West Shore,” said Richetelli.

Live Oaks School in Milford.

Live Oaks School in Milford.

Contribution photo /

“At Harborside there will be areas dedicated to art and music as well as a strengthened science lab, similar to the projects we have done in East Shore and West Shore,” he said.

In addition to larger renovation projects, Richetelli detailed system-wide efforts to improve HVAC, ventilation, boilers and masonry, estimated at $ 1 million.

“All of our schools are meeting or will meet the life expectancy of their mechanical systems like HVAC, ventilation and boilers,” Richetelli said. “We have to follow what some would consider to be the bones of the school. “

Other less intensive projects planned for the short term include improving traffic and safety at Orchard Hills Elementary School, estimated at $ 1.8 million.

Richetelli said more parents are driving students to school rather than sending them on the bus, creating traffic problems.

Another 2021-2022 project included on the list is the creation of a dedicated space for the children’s learning center program space at Jonathan Law High School, estimated at $ 1 million. Richetelli said there is a program in high school, but there is no dedicated space for it and devoting space to it could create a new career path and provide additional child care and child care. pre-kindergarten for Milford families.

The latest new improvement project proposed for the year 2021-22 is for improvements and upgrades to sports facilities at Law and Foran High Schools. Schools have already spent around $ 4 million on the two schools’ athletic fields, but Richetelli said that was not enough to be where they needed to be with sports facilities.

Jonathan Law High School sports fields under construction in October 2020.

Jonathan Law High School sports fields under construction in October 2020.

Sandra Diamond Fox / Hearst Connecticut Media

“Foran and Law’s tracks are in dire need of replacement,” said Richetelli. “In Foran there are probably two lanes that we would close in a track and field competition because we don’t think those two lanes are safe for runners.

“There are many other needs for sports facilities, and I remind council that all of these facilities are used by the community at large,” he said.

School board president Susan Glennon asked if there was an average amount of money spent each year on schools and if there were some high priority projects that might not be funded.

Richetelli said it was a concern.

“Yes, it’s our fear. We have high prices coming up, so there will be big demand already, ”he said.

Glennon went on to ask if it was possible that all of the capital improvement projects listed for 2021-2022 would not be funded. Richetelli confirmed that it was possible.

“These little things add up this year,” he said.

Following the discussion, the board unanimously approved the Capital Improvement Plan for 2022-2026, with an amendment allocating $ 2 million for central air conditioning in 2021-2022 and 2025-2026.

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