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THS Renovations Unlikely to End Before January; Complaints Linger

Most recently, a teacher and Town Councilman said boxes of books remain piled up, waiting to be shelved and taking up space.

Editor's Note: The original story ran Oct. 9. The headline used to read renovations were on track to end by January, but testimony at the Oct. 2 Board of Education meeting says otherwise. The headline and parts of the story have been changed. The Board of Education's meeting's minutes of Oct. 2 were viewed Tuesday, Oct. 16. Patch regrets the errors.

Trumbull High School students and staff continue to weather construction issues and building and school officials still predict the end before January.

Just how soon after January remains the mystery.

According to meeting minutes, Owner's Rep. Al Barbarotta said "while most of the major work is completed, not all renovations will be completed by January 2013 as the major renovations involve the mechanicals in the building."

Heating and air conditioning need a year to be properly calibrated, he added. Schools Supt. Ralph Iassogna said he also doubted work could be done by January 2013. 

Among the complaints are:

  • Books still packed in boxes cluttering some rooms, according to Town Councilman and THS Teacher Gregg Basbagill;
  • No Wifi
  • Slow installation and/or lack of computers
  • Channel 17/99 out of service
  • Some rooms without sufficient desks, doors, smartboards and whiteboards. 

One Trumbull Patch user, Mary Isaac, added, "And this is just a small, however extremely important, part of what needs to be finished for this renovation to be complete. The above are major issues which impact the students and staff and are unacceptable," she said.

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Meanwhile, Iassogna said recently that school staff have been picking up the slack for contractors. For example, Technology Manager Jeff Hackett unpacking and setting up computers, instead of the people who are supposed to be handling it, he said.

Custodians have also been working overtime, especially regarding recent roof leaks brought on by damaging high winds, he added.

If school staff didn't step up, "we'd be five months behind," Iassogna said.

THS Construction officials have also had to step in to expedite the restoration of Channel 17/99's studio wiring, said Barbarotta. The cable channel records and replays public meetings.

Finally, a concession stand is still in the design phase, Barbarotta added.

THS started the school year Aug. 27 after construction crews worked frenetically for days before to bring it up to code in time. 

Another upcoming project for the school will be to install a generator or fuel cell so the school can serve as an emergency shelter. The current non-grid power supply does not meet federal standards. A committee is studying that project.

Aaron Leo October 10, 2012 at 11:21 AM
Joe, the headline refers to Al's report to the Town Council. I was not aware he said that to the Board of Ed.
Joe Smith October 13, 2012 at 10:03 AM
So what happens now? Do you have an obligation to find out the story and correct the record? That's what a journalist would do.
Aaron Leo October 16, 2012 at 11:32 PM
Joe, I have at last been able to read the meeting minutes and you are correct. Thanks for alerting me to the situation.
JR October 17, 2012 at 10:43 AM
Instead or re-reporting what took place two weeks ago, why not attend the THSBC meeting tonight and get the current status of the renovation?
Aaron Leo October 17, 2012 at 11:28 AM
I'll try. I have Planning and Zoning tonight.

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