Wilton schools open today
Students returned to class today, Sept. 6, among them the pre-K through second graders at Miller-Driscoll School.
The following questions and answers describe the progress and state of the school at the current stage of the Miller-Driscoll Building Project. They are also posted at the Miller-Driscoll Building Committee website.
Is construction related traffic congestion expected during student drop off and pick up?
No. There is always some congestion the first week of school, but not because of construction. Those vehicles enter the property on an access road not accessible to the public and also have their own segregated parking area.
What improvements and changes have been made to the grounds?
Improvements and changes to date that are visible in the front of the building include:
- Pre-K/north cafeteria wing has been removed.
- Bus loop has been slightly reconfigured and repaved.
- Bus loop perimeter sidewalk has been widened.
- Paved area outside main office has been enlarged and includes short brick “walls” that can serve as seating.
- New flag pole has been installed in new location outside the main office.
- Personalized bricks in walkway outside main office have been temporarily removed.
- Small parking lot close to bus loop is now enclosed on one end, with a single entrance/exit for cars.
- South drop off driveway has had a gate added to direct drivers to proper exit.
- New grass seed has been sown outside main office and along bus loop perimeter.
- Temporary fencing has been erected for construction equipment containment.
Improvements made in the rear of the building (currently inaccessible to the public) include:
- Significant regrading.
- Bus loop, drop off area and parking have been added for new Pre-K wing.
- Access road has been paved.
Have the entrances, exits and drop off/pick up areas changed?
No. There is still a north entrance and drop off/pick up area (off Wolf Pit Road) and a south entrance and drop off/pick up area (off Belden Hill Road).
Have parking lots been affected by the construction?
No. Available parking is currently unchanged.
(Reminder: Additional parking remains available across the street from MD at Hope Church.)
Is construction equipment scattered throughout the grounds?
No. Construction equipment is contained in two areas--within a fenced area between the bus loop and Wolf Pit Road and in the rear of the building, adjacent to the new construction.
Are there areas on the grounds that are off limits to students and the public?
Yes. The fenced area containing construction equipment in the front of the building and the area in the rear of the building (trailers and beyond) are off limits.
Will all students use the same building entrance?
Yes. All students will use the main office entrance at this time.
What improvements have been made to the exterior?
In addition to a new roof, the most visible improvements to date have been made to the Miller wing as well as the new Pre-K wing and new classroom/cafeteria wing (both of which are currently inaccessible to the public). They include:
- Copper cladding along roof edge.
- Skylights in Miller wing replaced with clerestory windows and topped with “kite” roofs.
- New windows.
- New doors.
What improvements have been made to the interior?
The most visible improvements to date have been made to the Miller wing and include:
- New ceilings.
- New lighting.
- VCT flooring in hallways.
- New Powerbond flooring in classrooms.
- New cabinetry in classrooms.
- New sinks in classrooms.
- Newly painted walls.
- Newly painted lockers.
- Renovated bathrooms.
Interior improvements to date that are not clearly visible include:
- The addition of a sprinkler system.
- New fire alarm system.
- Improved security cameras.
- New HVAC.
- Improved wifi.
- New telephone system.
What areas of the building have not yet had noticeable improvements?
Areas that currently appear unchanged include the main office and its hallways, media center, Driscoll hallways and classrooms, gym and south cafeteria.
Are portable classrooms being used this year?
Yes. The portable classrooms will remain in use until the end of the 2016-2017 school year.
Are there currently areas of the building that are off limits?
Yes. Part of the new Pre-K wing and the new classroom/cafeteria wing are still under construction and are off limits. These areas are separated by solid walls and no access is possible from the parts of the building that are currently occupied.
Will there be full food service when school opens?
Yes. Chartwells will be offering their full food service (that includes both hot and cold items), in the south cafeteria. The new cafeteria will begin service after its construction is completed in October.
PLAYGROUNDS and PLAYING FIELDS
What playgrounds and playing fields will be available when school opens?
The north playground (next to the bus loop), south playground (next to the south drop off area) and existing playing fields will be available when school opens.
What kind of construction noise will occur during school hours?
Because construction of the new Pre-K wing and new classroom/cafeteria wing is so close to completion, there will be minimal noise, which may not even be audible in the occupied parts of the building. Turner Construction works daily with MD staff and will address any noise issue that may arise, as they did last year.
Will any windows be covered with sound blankets and/or boarded up?
Not at this time. However, if a teacher has a specific request to have them installed it will be accommodated.
What abatement and testing was performed this summer?
Abatement included the removal of PCB contaminated material, asbestos containing material, and some lead paint.
Where can those test results be found?
Test results can be found in the Air quality/Hazardous materials/Abatement documents atMillerDriscollBP.com.
Will any future abatement be performed while children are on site?
No. At their April 2016 meeting, the Miller-Driscoll Building Committee approved a revised phasing and construction schedule which provides for all abatement to be performed when school is not in session.
How many construction phases does the Miller-Driscoll Building Project have?
There are four phases to the renovation. Phase I began in December 2015 and will be completed in October 2016. Phase II encompassed the work done this summer. Phase III begins later this year and Phase IV will take place next summer.
What additional work will be completed in October, when Phase I ends?
The entire Pre-K wing and new classroom/cafeteria wing will be complete and ready for occupancy and service at that time.
What is the estimated completion date of the project?
Labor Day 2017.
Where can additional information on the construction be found?