Formal approval sought for school renovation project

The Miller-Driscoll Building Committee will seek formal approval from the Board of Education for the $50-million Miller-Driscoll renovation project after delivering a design development presentation at Monday’s Board of Selectmen meeting.
The presentation, essentially a status update for the board, identified issues and solutions both past and present.


The architects plan to solve the problem of traffic within school property by removing what is now serving as the pre-K wing and also what is referred to as the “peach core.”
The areas would be replaced with compact, efficient versions that would address educational shortcomings in addition to improving circulation, parking, and security.
Removing these areas makes room for visitor parking in close proximity to the main entrance of the school. There is no visitor parking at the school presently.
The architects also plan to add a circulation loop for the pre-K area that will free up queue lanes and add a separate entrance to the pre-K lane.
The architects have shifted the bus queue to the south and provided a standalone north dropoff that does not go through the parking loop, thereby doubling the number of buses that can be queued.


There will be a highly efficient air conditioning unit to mitigate some of the sound pollution that has caused teachers to stop using air conditioning while teaching.
Once the new unit is in, the energy model is expected to be 24% better than code, with lower operating costs and more fresh air. The air will also be better filtered.
The building’s current metal skirt trim will be replaced with zinc, which lasts for approximately 50 years and has no associated maintenance.


The State Office of School Facilities required the Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance to ratify a resolution authorizing the Board of Education to “apply to the commissioner of education and to accept or reject a grant for the major alteration and extension of the Miller-Driscoll School.”
The selectmen signed the resolution during their June 15 meeting and finance board members signed during their June 16 meeting.
During its June 15 meeting, the Board of Selectmen also signed resolutions authorizing the preparation of schematic drawings and outline specifications.
Turner Construction is currently preparing a 90% construction drawing estimate to confirm the project is still within budget.
If approval is obtained from the Board of Education, Tai Soo Kim will approach the state.
According to Luther, project completion is “ahead of the state’s target date.”
— Kendra Baker, reporter, contributed to this story