BREAKING: BoS to Bring $44 Million Miller-Driscoll Renovation to Voters

BREAKING NEWS:  At last night’s Board of Selectmen meeting, town leaders voted unanimously to approve bringing a projected $44 million plan to renovate Miller-Driscoll Elementary School to Wilton voters in September.

BoS hear presentation

At the BoS meeting Monday, July 21, the selectmen heard a final presentation from the M-D Building Committee and principals from Tai Soo Kim Partners Architects and Turner Construction Company on what revised cost estimates would be. The presentation reviewed the objectives, plans and projected costs, as well as an overview from the town’s financial advisers as to the ability to keep a strong financial rating and afford a bonded capital project of the scope described.

According to the schedule proposed by Turner Construction, the project — once approved and presented to the state for reimbursement credit — the actual construction phase would be slated to begin in January of 2016, with an estimated completion date of December 2017.

The proposal will now go to voters at a special town meeting to vote on the appropriation for the project. This meeting will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 23, with an adjourned vote on Saturday, Sept. 27. (location and time TBD).

GOOD Morning Wilton will have a more detailed report on what happened at the meeting later this week.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Kudos to the team of dedicated volunteers who have worked so hard to bring this important project to this point. There are many views on this effort: Why are we spending this much money? Should we build new instead? Why are we spending the money at all? Does this proposal represent the best value for the town? These questions and many others have been explored, investigated and discussed before bringing it to the BOS, BOF and ultimatley the voters in September. If you have questions that you feel haven’t been answered, please let us know and we will get answers for you. This project has the support of the Board of Education and deserves the town’s support as well. It’s a large project but one I believe we will all ultimately be very proud of. Thank you. -Bruce

    • What officials have told us is that it would be at least double the cost to renovate as new. Plus the state won’t reimburse as much or anything, as they incentivize renovation. There’s no feasible spot in Wilton on which to put a new school, or relocate the students if they knock down and rebuild on the current footprint. The plan as it is now is to renovate while school is in session, with as little disruption to the students as possible. There will be some limited temporary classrooms and they’ll phase it in such a way that they can do it while school is happening.

      What officials also said is that this will look like a brand new school, be state of the art for its technology and operational systems, be cost effective and energy efficient, and will be a gateway to Wilton that will impress prospective new families considering moving to Wilton.

      We’ll have more on this later this week as we write the story on last night’s meeting.

  2. $44 million is not too bad for renovations. To put this in perspective, Newtown is building an elementary school for $50 million. However, there are twice as many students going to Miller-Driscoll.

  3. A good first step. Many of our community facilities also need significant investments. This will help property values and it is a good time to borrow money or float bonds.

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