If you drive by Waterford High School, you might see the work beginning on its . And while everybody is excited for the finished product, the next six months will provide some “minor distraction,” Principal Don Macrino said.
“We have an advantage because we have such a large campus,” Macrino said. “It certainly will not have the distraction of say the middle school, where they were renovating the school right where the kids were.”
Work has already begun on a road from the school to Miner Lane. That road will stay unpaved throughout construction and will be used for construction vehicles, Assistant Superintendent Craig Powers said. Once everything is complete, the road will be paved, and that road will be the main entrance for the school, he said.
For the rest of the school year, the largest impact on the students will be work on the parking lot, which will lose some parking spaces, Macrino said. There is still plenty of parking at the schools, and students will be diverted to other spaces, Macrino said.
Overall, at least for the next six months, the construction will have a minimal impact on education, Macrino said. Athletic facilities will be affected much more dramatically, he said.
Effect On Athletics
Currently, the soccer, football, lacrosse and football fields are closed. The baseball team will practice at Leary Park, although the field should be open for the first game of the season, Athletic Director David Sousa said.
The football field will remain closed until sometime in November as workers will install a new turf field, Sousa said. Waterford hopes to have the field open for the last game of the season, the Thanksgiving game against East Lyme, Sousa said.
Once the field is open, it will be a dramatic improvement, Sousa said. Different sports can play right after each other without worrying about destroying the field, and there are no maintenance costs, he said.
“Its about a 10-year plan,” Sousa said about the turf field’s high installation cost. “After about 10 years you start making your money back.”
In the interim, the football team will practice on the practice fields.
Construction on the gym and the locker rooms around it will begin in June and should be completed by the time school opens in the fall, according to the district’s website.
Also, the pool will be closed from April until September, according to the district website. That will not affect the swimming team, which meets in the winter, Sousa said.
“It will be a little bit more work for me and organizing some things around,” he said. “But once it is complete, it will be a beautiful facility.”
The renovation should be complete by September 2013.
Superintendent Jerome Belair was hired right in the middle of a budget season which will result in more than 10 people losing their jobs. But even with that, it is still nice to know that the district has four brand new schools, and the fifth will be finished soon, he said.
“It is great,” he said. “Of course I wish I could just click my heels and get the last one completed, but once it's all done, we will have state-of-the-art facilities all around.”
2012-2013 schedule, according to the district’s website
Under renovation and not available for use April 2012 - September 2012
Lobby, Auditorium, Vestibule, and Concessions
2nd Floor Lobby, Projection Rooms
Hallway between the Auditorium and the Band/Chorus room
Under renovation and not available for use June 2012 - September 2012
Entire 1982 Addition
Auxiliary Gym and Locker Rooms
Under renovation and not available for use May 2013 - September 2013
Music and Orchestra Rooms
Old Gym and Locker Rooms