Citing project progress and community feedback, Wilton’s director of facilities and energy management Chris Burney sent an email announcing that a decision had been made to reschedule internal asbestos removal at Miller-Driscoll School, moving the work from April 9-17, during the school district’s spring break to the summer recess instead.
“This morning at the Miller-Driscoll building project workgroup I presented the group with an opportunity to modify the construction schedule. After a review of the project progress, and in consideration of changes in the circumstances and assumptions that were made during the original planning of the project, the decision was made to reschedule the April 9-17 internal asbestos abatement to this summer.”
The email reiterates that officials listened to feedback and concern from parents and other members of the community regarding safety as well as student and faculty exposure to hazardous material. Significant concerns have been expressed publicly and privately regarding hazmat issues, with one family even hiring a Washington, DC-based environmental attorney to represent them in dealing with town officials about all M-D renovation-related environmental issues.
Many parents expressed fears about students returning from Spring Break and being exposed to any residual dangerous materials left behind following planned abatement work. They have questioned procedures in place to make sure all hazardous materials are removed and cleaned up, questioning whether testing would be performed and when.
Burney said the decision to postpone the hazmat steps are indicative of the project team’s flexibility and responsiveness to input from the community.
“While the reasons for modifying the schedule are based upon site conditions and progress, it is also obvious that we have listened to our community. When we can find a better way to do something, there is no reason to proceed along a pre-ordained path just because we said we would. This project involves a large number of the Wilton community and we have committed to listen to their concerns. Recently there has been a significant increase in the email traffic to the Miller Driscoll Building Project from parents and it would be disingenuous for us to ignore those concerns.”
The email was sent to the members of the Miller-Driscoll Building Committee, and town and school officials, as well as to representatives from Turner Construction, architect Tai Soo Kim Partners, and members of the Wilton press. He noted that recipients were “…free to share this information.”
Burney wrote that he will address the issues in more detail at the next meeting of the Miller-Driscoll Building Committee, which is scheduled to meet on Thursday, March 3 at 5 p.m..