Three North Branford projects on schedule, within budgets

By Rachael Scarborough King, Register Staff
Sept. 3, 2008

NORTH BRANFORD — Three town construction projects are proceeding according to schedule and on budget, the Town Council heard Tuesday night.

Students Tuesday returned to North Branford Intermediate School, which is currently under construction, and there were no major issues to report, Town Manager Richard Branigan said.

Sixth-grade students will attend class in portable classrooms this year, and student drop-offs will occur at new locations following the demolition of the old cafeteria and music building.

Last week, the school held a “dry run” for bus drivers and a police officer was on hand Tuesday to make sure everything went smoothly, Branigan said.

“(It was a) very good opening of school and a good start during what will be a heavy construction schedule during this year,” he said.

The Permanent Project Building Committee has also decided to add a temporary covered walkway for the students who will have to travel between the main school building and the portable classrooms, at a cost of about $20,000 to the town after state reimbursements, Branigan said.

“It will provide a safe alternative for the kids, and we will move forward on that,” he said.

The $36 million renovate-as-new project at the middle school will nearly double the size of the 69,000-square-foot building.

Branigan also noted that work is beginning to wrap up on the renovation and expansion of the Edward Smith Library in the Northford section.

The major mechanical and framing work is completed, he said, and outfitting will soon begin on the interior of the building.

“It’s moving forward very well. It’s currently at or under budget,” he said. “They’ll be securing the building in total in the next two weeks.”

Once work on the Smith Library is finished — which Branigan said is scheduled for Dec. 15 — town officials will move toward work on a similar project at Atwater Memorial Library on Foxon Road. Each library reconstruction is budgeted at about $4.5 million.

The Atwater expansion will need approvals from the Planning and Zoning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals before construction can begin, Branigan said.

“The goal is to have the project out to bid by mid- to late-winter, so that by early spring that project can get up and running,” he said. “As Smith is opening, Atwater will be closing down.”

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