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The New Britain Common Council voted 13-0 Wednesday night to authorize $57 million in bond authorizations for renovations at Chamberlain Elementary School and roofing projects at Slade and Pulaski Middle Schools.
Though the project was approved by the City, it still requires confirmation from state officials on whether they will reimburse the project, which is typically around the 80 percent rate. The cost estimate for Chamberlain is $49 million. Other costs include $1 million for temporary classroom space, $3 million for the replacement of a roof at Pulaski, $3 million for a roof replacement at Slade, and $1 million in financing costs.
“I’m proud to support this additional, substantial investment in our schools and children,” said Mayor Erin Stewart. “It is important that our children are provided with a safe and adequate learning environment. A special thank you also to state Rep. Robert Sanchez, Co-Chair of the Education Committee, for helping us make repairs to our aging infrastructure.”
The “renovate as new” Chamberlain project will address deficiencies in building space, program needs, site safety issues, community needs, and code compliance considering both present and future needs. Building spaces will be modernized with technology equipment in areas such as the media center and all instructional spaces including mobile computer carts, wireless access points and computer lab. Contemporary classrooms will be built with interactive whiteboards. The Chamberlain Campus also includes a 40-year old temporary portable building which houses four classrooms that will be demolished and incorporated into the main building.
The Chamberlain project will also involves making improvements to the site traffic pattern and adding additional parking spaces. An addition to the existing school will also be added to create new space for a school based health center and family resource center.
Chamberlain was originally built in 1952 and much of the original construction materials are still present in the classrooms; renovations and additions were made in 1993.
The funding request comes as work is wrapping up on a $48 million renovation of Smalley Elementary School in the North Oak area. The school will be completed in time for students this fall.
The Mayor states that the projects will not move forward until the City has received reimbursement from the state for the Smalley Elementary School renovation.