Community gatherings after New Milford High School roof fire


NEW MILFORD — The community is coming together to help reopen New Milford High School after this month’s roof fire.

The school has asked for help with parking spaces as the school will lose a ‘substantial’ amount of parking spaces as temporary classrooms will be set up on the grounds, New Milford Mayor Pete Bass said .

Faith Academy, a private preparatory school on Danbury Road next to the grammar school, offered 255 parking spaces, plus seven disabled-accessible spaces.

Staff parking is being considered at the John Pettibone Community Center on Pickett District Road.

About 200 staff members and 1,300 students are expected at the school for the next school year.

The July 5 fire caused extensive damage and forced planned high school summer programs to move to other locations. Due to the extent of the damage, Bass declared a local disaster emergency.

Portable classrooms

The secondary school expects to receive around 30 mobile classrooms, which will be installed near the multipurpose fields at the rear of the school.

Bass has approved the classrooms and is awaiting the final documents.

“It’s kind of a waiting pattern right now. They said ‘give them a day or two’ and then hopefully I can report that the pods have been secured and they’re in road,” Bass said Wednesday.

Back to school date

At Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Alisha DiCorpo said that according to the insurance company and the portable classroom source, the modules could arrive before the new back-to-school date of June 6. september.

“My internal team, my technology department and my facilities department … need time to set up offices here to make sure the internet is working, there is water, sewer and electricity. “, said DiCorpo.

DiCorpo may remove certain holidays and spring break to accommodate the new start date.

The district must have the last day of school no later than June 30, as required by the state. The district allocated 181 school days, one more than the state requirement.

Remote learning, even on a temporary basis, is not an option, according to DiCorpo, which said it consulted with the state Department of Education.

Bass said the district is trying to start school by Sept. 6 — unforeseen delays can still occur.

It’s a “work in progress,” he said, and the goal of the “superintendent, the board, the city, the contractors and the insurance companies is first and foremost “to try to get the kids back to school and then try to achieve that goal. target date – the day after Labor Day,” he said.

Help with childcare

Due to the delayed back-to-school date, New Milford Youth Agency Executive Director Jason O’Connor and Brian Hembrook, the city’s prevention program manager who runs the key local program, are working on opportunities to help working parents.

The city is meeting with area child care groups next week.

new contractor

Bass said he asked the state Department of Education for a waiver to bring in a new contractor rather than a “full-fledged bidding process, which could take months,” a he declared. “A waiver would allow the city to get a new contractor much faster.”

Bass last week fired former roofing contractor United Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc. of Brookfield, in part because the company was responsible for a fire on the school’s roof in December.

Bass said the city had four or five contractors to start work in September and complete the rest of the roofing project.

Community effort

Bass and education board members said the community has been asking for ways to help students get back as quickly as possible.

“I’ve had people say, ‘Pete, I’m going to bring a broom up there. I’ll do whatever I can to help clean up,'” Bass said.

He added that the physical part of the cleaning or restoration must be done by a licensed contractor. “We appreciate the overwhelming number of people who want to help,” he said.

He added that while it will be difficult to get students back to their school as quickly and safely as possible, the district — and the city — are ready to do just that.

“We create a new 50,000 square foot school in weeks rather than months or a year.” says Bass. “We will do everything we can to help the children, the school and the teachers.”


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