Waterford High School Construction; The Next Eight Months

What Will Be Closed, What Will Remain Untouched

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.

Belair’s Take

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

Crazy-in-Wtfd. March 21, 2011 at 03:36 PM
School and the parking lot will be a mess for awhile but the end result will be well worth the inconvienence.
Tim Fioravanti March 21, 2011 at 06:06 PM
CONCERTS - It is best for everyone if you park out in front of the school and enter through the old gym entrance. You will avoid the construction this way.
judith graziano April 05, 2011 at 02:35 AM
Does anyone see the big picture? If a family(or town) decided to build a new modern house(or two) they would first be sure they could pay for the necesseties. They should not suddenly find there was only enough money for half the groceries, heating oil and energy bills. Whether it is a family, town, state or country a realistic budget is necessary. The education of your children is being compromised because adults have a need for living outside their budget. Waterford has had more money for their budget than any other surrounding town and look at their mess now. Live within your means. Past Waterford resident
Tom April 05, 2011 at 02:12 PM
Municipal tax dollars aren't picking up these millions, so it's not about that. And if you're thinking big picture--wouldn't more attractive, modernized schools bring people to the area? Don't parents still look at schools when deciding whether or not to move to a town? And that influx of people--and therefore commerce and industry to tend to those people--wouldn't that help diffuse the tax burden?


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