Roof replacements and more on schools' Capital Improvement Plan

Roof replacements, athletic facilities improvements, security upgrades, and building expansions are among the projects the Milford Board of Education has identified as priorities in its Capital Improvement Plan for 2019-2023. The board unanimously approved the $56 million plan at its May 14 meeting.

“This is a plan. It is not a budget. It does not come with dollars attached to it,” said Chief Operations Officer James L. Richetelli Jr., speaking by phone on June 4.

Richetelli prepared the plan, which he presented it to the board. He said the plan then proceeds to Mayor Ben Blake (D), who decides which portions to include in the citywide Capital Improvement Plan.

The Planning and Zoning Board reviews the mayor’s plan and makes a recommendation to the Board of Aldermen, which ultimately accepts the citywide plan.

After the plan is approved, the mayor decides which projects to recommend for funding, and how much will be funded. Both the Board of Finance and Board of Aldermen must approve the bond authorization needed to pay for the projects.

“Some projects will get funded and some won’t,” said Richetelli.

The aldermen unanimously adopted the citywide Capital Improvement Plan for 2018-22 at its Jan. 8 meeting. Richetelli said the Board of Education creates its plan based on a fiscal year, while the city works on a calendar year. As a result, the Board of Education plan will not appear before the zoning board and aldermen for about six months.

In the narrative for the plan, Richetelli emphasized, “The dollar figures contained in the plan are estimates only.” He commented that once design professionals are hired, then detailed design, planning and estimates are developed. If PCBs and/or asbestos are discovered on the site, “there is an unknown but significant risk of escalation in cost,” he wrote.

Some projects are eligible for state reimbursement, and Milford’s current reimbursement rate is 38.21%.

The plan recommends replacing roofs at both Jonathan Law and Joseph A. Foran High Schools. According to the report, Law had a 1991 addition, which now needs its 40,000-square foot roof replaced at an estimated cost of $1.35 million.

Meanwhile, the roofs at Foran have been replaced in sections during the last 40 years, and now a 125,000-square foot section that is more than 20 years old is due for replacement at an estimated cost of $4.1 million.

Both high schools are also recommended to have athletics facilities improvements at a cost of $2 million, a portion of which was funded in February 2018. Improvements may include replacement of the running tracks and improved handicap accessibility at both schools, and replacement of the original field house at Foran.

Security infrastructure upgrades are estimated to cost $1 million per year for the five years of the plan with the goal of completing two to three schools a year. The money would be used primarily to construct secured vestibules and hardened entranceways at all schools, as recommended by the School Safety and Security Working Group, and required by the Connecticut State School Safety Infrastructure Standards.

Three elementary schools have been identified as needing additions, alterations, and renovations, in addition to security upgrades: Pumpkin Delight, Calf Pen Meadow, and Live Oaks. The estimated cost is $31.6 million with the greatest expense at Pumpkin Delight with a $14.7 million cost.

According to the plan, Pumpkin Delight was built in 1950 and has not had any major renovations since 1956. Suggested improvements include construction of a full-size elementary cafeteria/gym with storage space along with conversion of the existing multi-purpose room into a media center. The proposal also calls for an addition with six pre-K classrooms with adjoining lavatories suitable for pre-K students, and two rooms dedicated to a family resource center.

Calf Pen Meadow and Live Oaks, which have not had any major renovations since they were constructed in 1955 and 1961 respectively, would have a new media center similar to those in other elementary school buildings, while the existing media center would be converted to two classrooms.

The other project would be replacement of unit ventilators and the dehumidification system at John F. Kennedy School at a cost of $500,000. The unit ventilators date to the school’s construction in 1967 and the dehumidification system is nearly 20 years old.

Other systemwide projects include asbestos abatement, including floor and ceiling tile replacement, replacement of unit ventilators at various schools, boiler replacement and HVAC improvements, intercom / clock / bell system upgrades, playing fields repair and replacement, brick, and chimney repointing and restoration.

Finally, the plan calls for demolishing the existing buildings on Eels Hill and replacing them with a pre-fabricated storage facility.

The report is available on the Board of Education website as part of the meeting packet for the May 14 meeting at The plan may be found on pages 7 to 13 of the packet.