After a delay of more than a year caused by a toxic contamination scare, Osborn Hill School will be getting new windows.
The project to replace the oldest windows at the Stillson Road elementary school with more energy-efficient windows was on the list of non-recurring capital expenditures presented to town boards during last year's budget cycle.
But tests required before the project could proceed revealed the presence PCB contamination at the school. PCB is a potential carcinogen.
The contamination was found not only in window caulking, but also in some flooring, wall paint, the library and the gym. The contamination registered at higher levels than allowed for an elementary school and the process of cleaning, so a remediation project was initiated at the school last August. While much of the work was completed by the start of the current academic year, the gym remains closed, and a portable structure is being used for physical education activities.
Now, with a remediation plan in place and $4.2 million for the renovations and cleanup approved in January, the Board of Selectmen on Wednesday updated the building committee charge to reflect the PCB remediation work being done in addition to the window replacement.
Selectman Cristin McCarthy Vahey said that at one point there had been discussion about possibly combining the window replacement project at Osborn Hill with one planned at Fairfield Ludlowe High School.
"We definitely talked about it," First Selectman Michael Tetreau said, "but the conversation didn't get very far."
He said the projects at both schools have expanded beyond only windows, so combining them no longer made sense. A building committee is needed, Tetreau said, to qualify for state reimbursement of some of the costs.
The main building at Osborn Hill was constructed in 1958. A classroom addition was built in 1969, and the media center and kindergarten classroom expansion took place in 1997.
Installation of the new windows is expected to reduce energy costs, while the abatement of PCBs will improve indoor air quality.