WINCHESTER — In the 18 months since the Mary P. Hinsdale Elementary School was closed, a group of residents, elected officials and construction experts have worked toward a plan to reopen the building and resume classes by fall 2019.
One of the most critical steps in the process begins this week when architectural firms that bid on the project will be interviewed by members of the Hinsdale Renovation Project Committee.
The cost to update Hinsdale school is far less than the cost of building a new school, according to the facilities ad hoc committee, which was formed in 2017. It estimated that a new school building would cost up to $60 million and take as long as 10 years to build.
Facilities committee member Peter Marchand said its members compiled the original study based on what type of repairs were needed for both Hinsdale and Batcheller Early Childhood Center.
“Both schools were neglected for a number of years,” Marchand said.
He noted that the committee met with parents and talked about which school would provide the best learning environment.
Responses showed that Hinsdale was thought to be a better choice. “It was considered safer than Batcheller,” Marchand said. Hinsdale is also close to other schools, the committee noted, and is an easy walk from homes in the neighborhood.
Engineering reports also showed that a proposal to upgrade Batcheller school would be more expensive, coming in at about $3.5 million with the potential for about $1.7 million in grants.
She expects a special referendum will be called in late winter to allow residents to vote on whether they support issuing bonds to help pay for the project.
If the referendum were approved, the school would have an enrollment of about 300 students in pre-k to second grade, Brady-Shanley noted.
Middletown’s sewage pump station project 75 percent complete
MIDDLETOWN — Work on the East Main Street pump station, which by next summer will connect the city’s sewage to the Mattabassett District wastewater treatment plant in Cromwell, is about 75 percent complete.
The $55 million project, which broke ground in May 2014, is now in its second phase, and construction is estimated to wrap up by July 2019