Security, infrastructure funding approved for Milford schools

Pumpkin Delight School, in Milford, Conn. Dec. 3, 2020.

Pumpkin Delight School, in Milford, Conn. Dec. 3, 2020.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

MILFORD — More than $665,000 was recently approved by the permanent school facilities building committee for funding security and infrastructure upgrades in schools throughout the Milford Public Schools.

“One of the highest and enduring priorities of Milford Public Schools is to ensure that our school buildings are safe, healthy, orderly and caring places that support and promote student learning and positive relationships,” said James Richetelli, Milford Public Schools chief operations officer.

Committee Chairman Matthew Woods said they don’t like to publicize the security updates but they are important for the schools.

Security was the biggest ticket item, including $61,561 for security projects at John F. Kennedy Elementary School, $109,096 for Mathewson Elementary School, $98,259 for Orange Avenue Elementary, $145,688 for East Shore Middle School, $110,712 for Joseph Foran High School and $3,600 for both Live Oaks and Calf Pen Meadow Elementary Schools.

“By constantly upgrading our security infrastructure with the latest and most sophisticated products and systems, students, parents, staff and the community can feel safe and secure,” said Richetelli. “This creates an environment that is conducive to effective teaching and learning.”

The committee also approved $96,915 for the addition, renovation and upgrades at Pumpkin Delight Elementary School.

“The main project right now is Pumpkin Delight,” said Woods.

In May, the Milford Board of Aldermen unanimously approved a $12.9 million appropriation for the Pumpkin Delight project. As the city’s oldest school, the finished project could give it some of the most modern facilities in the school district. The project is in the design phase, with construction scheduled to begin in 2022.

“We finished the West Shore project and before that, we did the East Shore Middle School project and we’ve done a whole series of other projects,” said Woods. “This is our first major project at Pumpkin Delight in about 50 years, although we did replace the windows, the roof and we put an elevator in.”

The elementary school was built in 1949 and has not had any major renovations since 1955. School officials said the renovation would keep Pumpkin Delight a modern learning environment for at least the next 20 years.

“We are very excited about it, and the principal, families and students are excited as well,” said Woods.

During the meeting, Jorgensen said the roof project at Jonathan Law High School is done. However, they are waiting for the interior fall protection screen to be completed.

“The screen was supposed to come with the skylight, unfortunately, it did not. So the company is sending it separately,” he said, adding that they expect to close out the project in July.