Leaky roofs first, then ‘mission critical’ improvements in Hamden schools

A year after the district scrapped the construction of a new West Woods Elementary school building, the town is moving forward with a plan to put nearly $1.6 million toward roof and window projects there and at Dunbar Hill Elementary School. The Legislative Council unanimously approved an ordinance reallocating funds from old capital accounts to cover the project costs, which officials said would be supplemented by an additional $3.2 million from the state. That brings the total project value to about $4.8 million. After the council asked the district to find ways to be more fiscally responsible and to determine the schools’ highest priorities, the district put together a five-year capital plan that represents a “scaling back” of previous goals but outlines “mission critical” improvements, according to Julie Smith, Hamden Public Schools’ director of arts, culture and special projects. With a new school out of the picture, a new roof will make a major difference in addressing water intrusion at West Woods, according to Smith, who added that the current roof dates back to 1973.


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