Temporary classrooms for Miller-Driscoll students

The Miller-Driscoll Building Committee received the Board of Education’s approval to submit two bid documents to the Connecticut Office of School Facilities regarding the “temporary classroom phase” of the $50-million renovation project.

Six temporary classrooms would be used to house some students during the construction of the school’s new addition, Randall Luther, of the architecture firm Tai Soo Kim, told the education board during its Jan. 22 special meeting.

Mr. Luther said the temporary classrooms would be used “for about a year,” and “once the new addition is completed, there will no longer be a need for the temporary classrooms.”


Mr. Luther said the hope is to get the temporary classrooms established, at the south end of the school, over the summer.

For the most part, Mr. Luther said, the temporary classrooms will seem like “normal” classrooms, equipped with heating, air conditioning, bathrooms, and lockers.

“The only thing that may seem unusual to people who are familiar with the current Miller-Driscoll building, which has fairly large window openings, is that the windows in most portable classrooms are fairly modest,” said Mr. Luther.

“There are maybe two or three small windows … only because there’s no real demand for them because they’re typically short-term so it’s mostly about economy.”

The temporary classrooms would be connected to the existing Miller-Driscoll building by a corridor so students wouldn’t have to go outside.

“They will be corridors like any other — just not quite as nice a finish,” said Mr. Luther, “but it will be heated and have finished floors, finished walls and lighting.”

There would be exit doors at the far end of the portables, as well as in the middle of the corridor, which would allow continued access of parent pickup and drop-off.

The pod of temporary classrooms would include two student bathrooms, a staff bathroom, and storage closets.

There would be no “special” security considerations, said Mr. Luther, but “there will be security systems tied into the existing security system.”

Next steps

On Tuesday, Feb. 3, the building committee will give the state project specifications and drawings, which will be subject to a Plan Completion Test.

Mr. Luther said the drawings are “somewhat schematic in nature” because the project is “really a design-build.”

“We give them the general parameters of what we’re looking for — the size, certain requirements in terms of teaching aids, lockers, general location on the site plan, code issues,” said Mr. Luther.

“Then it’s up to the individual vendors to submit their actual contract drawings for us to review to ensure compliance with specifications … in terms of construction type and all the educational requirements that we review with the staff at the school to make sure the classrooms would be outfitted the way they need to be.”

Following the state review, Mr. Luther said, “we’ll put it out to bid, vet the lowest bidder and we’ll make a recommendation to the building committee and then it will be up to the committee to make a recommendation.”