Sandy Hook School Elementary demolition is scheduled to start Friday, and Ellington-based asbestos removal company Bestech are still clearing hazardous materials from the site where a new school is planned to rise by 2016.
Meanwhile, architects from firm Svigals + Partners will meet with the Board of Education Nov. 6 as they continue spec work for the new school's design. Officials say the firm has requested an advisory committee be formed, including town officials. Board of Education head Debbie Leidlein has asked member Kathy Hamilton, John Vouros and Laura Roche to be part of the committee. Svigals + Partners will work through November and December to prepare schematics for the project.
"But to meet the timetable, schematics should be finished by end of January," Superintendent John Reed said at a Board of Education meeting last week. "That means they'll be into serious design in January. November is pretty fluid: kicking around concepts, mobile ideas, drawings ... Then, in December, they'll feel the pressure a bit more."
Officials said the firm were caught off guard because they didn't realize the schematics were due in January. But Reed said he didn't expect any delays in the project or complications stemming from the ramped-up timetable.
"They understand, as we all do, because of the nature of the gift it puts pressure on all of us," he said. "Certainly this project is going to receive more attention [than their previous projects.] If they do a wonderful job, I'm sure they'll be thrilled with the attention."
Demolition Begins Friday
Bestech will spend this weekend beginning demolition, working wing-by-wing as asbestos is removed from each section of the school, according to WTNH. First Selectman Pat Llodra told WTNH no materials from the old school building would leave the site.
"It might become part of the base for the new road or the foundation, or you know, the contractors will make the decision how best to use those materials," she said.
Llodra told Patch abatement, which began earlier this month, is necessary before demolition can begin.
"We have to get rid of the hazardous materials on the site before we can do anything else," she said.
Crews from Bestech and construction company Consigli & Sons drew attention when they were required to sign non-disclosure agreements, prohibiting them from publicly discussing the school grounds, taking photos or removing material from the site. At a Monday night Board of Selectmen meeting, Selectman Will Rodgers said the move was made to respect privacy and prevent photos from the site going viral on social media.
Demolition is expected to take at least two weeks, ideally completed before Thanksgiving, according to Public Building and Site Commission chair Robert Mitchell.
"Nothing is going to keep us from having the building down at an appropriate time," he said.