Deep River School Roof Project in Final Phase

By Elizabeth Reinhart/ • 09/07/2021 15:27 pm EST

Due to the $132,000 allotment in government bonds, completion of the final phase of a rooftop project at Deep River Elementary School (DRES) was scheduled to take place over the school’s Labor Day holiday weekend.

The city has allocated money each fiscal year and has partnered annually with a contractor to replace various sections of the school’s roof for at least the past five years, according to First Selectman Angus McDonald. The last remaining sections include a flat roof area above the school library.

“So they’ll do the job when the kids aren’t on site, which is obviously of value to us,” said DRES director Lauren Feltz, who joined state and local officials as they toured the school’s perimeter. to discuss the project on August 31.

“It’s a great feeling to be able to get money for our cities,” said State Representative Christine Palm (D-36). “While $132,000 isn’t a huge amount, it completed this project that was years in the making. And it is especially gratifying that it is a project that directly benefits students and teachers and that preserves an old building.”

The process to obtain the funding took “about six months,” Palm said. “When the bonding cycle begins, we have a few months to work with selected people and our city leaders to figure out what the city needs.”

The funds were approved at the State Bond Commission’s first meeting of the fiscal year on July 23.

“It’s great that we can get some bonds for them to redo the roof,” said Senator Norman Needleman (D-33). “It’s been held together the old-fashioned way for a long time, with duct tape and gum, and now they have an opportunity to pull this off and we’re really excited about that.”

McDonald said the completion of the rooftop project will enable the next phase of a citywide energy efficiency project, which is the installation of solar panels on the school’s roof.

“Which, in my opinion, takes a building that I think was built in 1914, and it’s being modernized,” McDonald said, adding that the new roof and future solar panels will complement the building’s interior upgrades that are being built. was completed in recent years.

“Now we have the icing on the cake,” McDonald said of the rooftop project. “It is a great blessing to Deep River and a great blessing to our schools and we really appreciate it.”

The residents of Deep River approved a total expenditure of $159,500 for the completion of the roof project at a city meeting on Aug. 31. That amount includes the government bond funds as well as $25,000 already included in the city’s annual operating budget for the project this fiscal year. It also includes $2,500 for the cost of materials.

“This year we chose a department [of roofing] that was $25,000 and that was what was approved in the budget,” McDonald said at the Aug. 31 meeting. “We’re raising that tonight because of an additional $2,500. The materials have gone up since that bid was put together three or four years ago.”

Palm said the government bond funds are a way “for the state to stand up” and help with local projects.

“The main motivation and inspiration [for projects] should really come from the ground up, from the cities and then we make sure it happens at the state level,” she said.

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