By late October, the Miller-Driscoll Building Committee will know if the $50 million approved for bonding the school renovation project will be enough or more than enough.
After gaining permission from the state Department of Education, Turner Construction put the project out to bid on Sept. 22, with a return date of Oct. 13. Senior project manager Mike Douyard told the committee at its meeting on Sept. 24 it would have the bids for review by the third week of October. The bids will first be opened in the first selectman’s office.
Approximately 20 bid packages were released, covering all aspects of
the project.
When asked how favorable the bid responses might be, construction manager Ty Tregellas said, “I think there is an appetite in the market,” adding there were no other big projects that he knew of out to bid right now.
Douyard added that some of the packages, particularly the long-term jobs such as site work, would be more attractive.
“This is the exciting time, the white knuckle time,” said committee co-chair Bruce Hampson. “This is when the market tells us if we’re right or wrong.”
The committee is aiming to award the bids by Nov. 15, the latest.

Hazardous materials


Before any demolition or other work can take place, any hazardous materials must be cleaned up.
Hygienists Eric Plimpton and Stephen Arienti of TRC updated the committee Thursday about the Self-Implementing Plan of Abatement (SIP) that was approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency earlier this month. TRC is the environmental consulting and management firm hired to test for hazardous materials and oversee the abatement process.

Testing this past winter found asbestos, PCBs and lead paint in various spots around the school, which was not surprising, they said, for a building constructed in the 1960s. Plimpton said the amount of asbestos found was “normal” and the PCBs largely “less than normal.”
As far as PCBs are concerned, they are generally most often found in window and door caulking. At Miller-Driscoll, most samples measured in the range of “insignificant” to 50 ppm. There were some samples in the range of 75 to 80 ppm.
The federal government regulates PCB contamination over 50 ppm. Connecticut, the hygienists said, is the only state that regulates PCB contamination from 1 ppm to 50 ppm.
Eighty percent of the PCBs found were considered low-level, the hygienists said, meaning they measured 50 ppm or none at all. The Driscoll building had some measurements of 70 ppm to 150 ppm. Most of these were found on window and door casings and exterior glazing
on windows.
There was one instance on the exterior of windows at the Miller building that measured more than 100,000 ppm.
Arienti said lead-based paint was found in low levels on walls, windows and door casings, and on some supporting steel parts such as I-beams and girders.
Asbestos was found throughout the school on floor tiles, mastics (joint sealers), chalkboards, adhesives, some insulation, spray-on insulation in the boiler room, flashing, and exterior door and
window caulking.
The abatement project has been put out to bid and the successful bidder will have to submit its plans to TRC, which will oversee the work on a daily basis.
“This is a fairly big effort, but we can’t do anything until we finish,” Tregellas said. The work will be phased in with school vacations, Douyard said.