Today is a big day for everyone involved in the Miller-Driscoll renovation, as students will enter the building for the first time for Meet the Teacher Day and find the renovations are complete. While Mike Douyard, Turner Construction‘s project manager, and Christopher Burney, Wilton’s director of facilities, said there are still small, punch list-type things here and there to finish up, the overall renovation project has hit a stage where the building is ready and, for all intents and purposes, done.
Douyard and Burney accompanied GOOD Morning Wilton on Wednesday morning, Aug. 30, as M-D principal Kathy Coon gave a tour of the entire building to show how things look, showing off bright, colorful elements, new windows, new furniture, completely renovated mechanicals and more.
Teachers were working hard to get their classrooms ready, as they couldn’t get into the building until just the Monday two days before. Coon mentioned how just that morning her staff had gotten recognition from superintendent Dr. Kevin Smith for their flexibility and tenacity during the need to relocate classrooms several times over the last two years of the active construction phase of the renovation.
The school’s colorful, bright interiors, say Coon, “finally match the people inside the building.”
Some news from the tour–there are four preschool classes in the newly-named Early Learning Center, and a waiting list for typical peers for this school year. Next year Coon says there will be five classes. There are two classrooms that would have been unused that will now be used by Continuing Education. After her own, separate tour, Wilton’s first selectman Lynne Vanderslice posted a rave about the project results on Facebook, including a shout out for Douyard and Burney:
“Toured Miller Driscoll School with these fine gents, Mike and Chris, who had a key role in the project being four months ahead of schedule and under budget at a net cost of approximately $36 million to the town. Tons of work completed over the summer. It looks great. Of the 45 potential regular classrooms, 36 scheduled to be used for regular classes, two to be monetized by Continuing Ed, one as a staff room (overlooked in the planning), three used for programs which didn’t exist at the time of the planning-math and reading intervention and STEM and three for an increase in SPED programs in K-2. Thank you to everyone involved in getting this to the finish line.”
Other major changes that are evident: completely new entrance, relocated to the front and consolidated from two doors to one; a new, reconfigured administrative and front office area with upgraded security features; many new parking spaces for visitors and enough for all the staff, with new distinct drop-off and pick-up areas–the bus loop, the north and south sides of the buildings for parents, and the preschool entrance with its own parking and pickup/drop-off area. The multi-purpose room with a stage is ready and a staff room where teachers can eat and meet. Of course the cafeteria located in the new addition at the school’s rear is new, but that’s been in use since last winter.
There were still some construction workers putting finishing touches on the new front entrance, but the change will be very evident to parents and Wilton residents who remember how different things were before the project started.