The South Windsor Board of Education on Tuesday evening was provided an overview of the capital improvements projects that will comprise five referendum questions that will be presented to voters this November.
About $6 million of the $13.68 million in projects are dedicated to South Windsor schools, most of which pertains to one referendum question, according to Town Councilor Jan Snyder, who serves as the council’s liaison to the school board.
That question calls for school renovations, improvements and educational technology, including roof replacements at the high school, Orchard Hill and Pleasant Valley elementary schools (approx. $3.2 million); the replacement of lockers in the high school gym; the resurfaceing the high school track; the repaving of a portion of the high school parking lot; the replacement of the Pleasant Valley kitchen floor and the serving line at Timothy Edwards School and $1.35 million for new computer equipment.
If approved, the town would be reimbursed about $1.5 million for the roof replacements from the state, Snyder said, meaning that the total cost to South Windsor taxpayers would be $4.2 million.
Another project related to the schools is the proposed $220,000 purchase and installation of a generator for the high school. That project is included in a separate town building question, as the generator is not an essential school function and, therefore, is not subject to reimbursement by the state, according to Director of Facility Operations Patrick T. Hankard.
Hankard said that the three roofs needed repairs, as they had 91 leaks over an 18-month period. Both elementary schools will have their entire roofs replaced, while the high school will have a 68,000 square foot section (out of 236,000 square feet) replaced.
One school board member asked whether, in light of the elementary schools’ need to either be renovated or rebuilt soon, the town would be throwing good money after bad by replacing the roofs.
Hankard said that may indeed be the case, but that the roofs were in dire need of being replaced and the renovation schedule would be such that work would not be completed within three or four years. The roofs at both elementary schools, in their current condition, won’t last that long, Hankard said.
School board member Richard Starr said that the roof replacements at the elementary schools was a result of the “do-nothing” approach taken by the town four years ago when a referendum was rejected by voters.
In other business, Frank Rizzuto was introduced to the school board as South Windsor High’s new associate principal. Rizzuto has nearly 12 years’ experience as a teacher and coach at the high school.
“I look forward to bringing that same enthusiasm and dedication to my new role as associate principal,” Rizzuto told the board.
Rizzuto is one of 26 new certified staff members hired by the school system for the 2012-13 school year. Another 12 or so non-certified staff members were added as well.
Superintendent of Schools Kate Carter announced that South Windsor Teacher of the Year Elizabeth Rafalowsky was among the 15 semifinalists for statewide teacher of the year. Carter said that Rafalowsky and the non-certified staff member of the year would be introduced to the school board at the next meeting.
Carter also said that South Windsor High sophomore Vicky Bui toured with musician Clay Aiken this summer; Bui also wrote one of the songs on Aiken’s soon-to-be released album.