Going forward, projects at high school will be more visible

By Dave Fidlin

Correspondent

Work on all of components of Waterford Union High School’s referendum-funded facilities is underway, district officials announced recently.

Luke Francois

District Administrator Luke Francois provided the School Board with an update on the referendum projects at a meeting Oct. 28. In April, voters narrowly approved a $9.95 million spending plan.

“All phases of the referendum are underway at various stages and moving toward completion,” Francois wrote in a memo.

As of last week, Francois reported $537,364 of the district’s referendum bond had been spent, with several pressing projects absorbing a portion of the figure.

More than half the already spent amount — $309,000 — has been allocated to replace several big-ticket equipment replacements, including a new furnace and chiller.

“The remaining funds expensed represent architectural fees, site surveys and materials for the custodial shed,” Francois wrote in the memo.

Other work expected to coalesce in the final phases of 2019 includes the actual building additions, which are partially intertwined with the district’s purchase of state Department of Transportation-owned property.

WUHS had tried several times previously to pass a referendum without success. In its most recent ask in April, several items in the package were tweaked, including modifications to portions of the school that had not been upgraded since the 1960s.

At its core, the adopted $9.95 million referendum touches on three initiatives — infrastructure updates and replacements, safety enhancements and program updates.

Some of the district’s safety-related improvements include securing entrances, improving safety at drop-off and pick-up areas and improving doors to classrooms.

Also included in the referendum was a fitness center. District officials have described the amenity as an enhancement aimed at promoting the virtues of physical fitness.