By Eric Althoff
TORRINGTON, Ct.—East Hartford’s Construction Solutions Group LLC has been tapped by the Torrington City Council to oversee buildout of a new combination middle and high school. According to the Register Citizen, the $157 million project was approved in a referendum that passed on Election Day, Nov. 3. Since that time, the Torrington building committee has been examining various bids for the buildout before settling upon the winner.
Construction Solutions Group will provide project management of both demolition of the existing structure as well as completing the new school and administration building, whose home will be 50 Major Besse Drive. Demolition of the old building will be part of the project’s second phase, as will completion of various site works and setting up of new athletic fields.
According to the Register Citizen, various plans were proposed to renovate the existing high school, but estimates for such a renovation clocked in upwards of $75 million, for which the city would have entirely on the hook. The paper further reported last year that the old school building was bedeviled with aging restrooms, ceilings that were beginning to fail and various other infrastructure improvements that were desperately needed. A feasibility study conducted last year by architecture firm Kaestle Boos came to the conclusion that it was better—and ultimately cheaper in the long run—to start from scratch with a new school rather than refurbish the existing one.
By opting for construction of an entirely new building, the city will see $85 million, over half of the construction budget, reimbursed. The remainder of the cost will be covered over three decades through a variety of property tax maneuvers, the Register Citizen reported.
In December, city officials selected the architecture firm SLAM Collaborative of Glastonbury to be the architect for the new school building.