Fairfield’s Holland Hill school project comes in under budget

Photo of Katrina Koerting
Photo of construction at Holland Hill in Fairfield,CT. 8/9/18

Photo of construction at Holland Hill in Fairfield,CT. 8/9/18

Genevieve Reilly / Hearst Connecticut Media

FAIRFIELD — The Holland Hill School expansion project has officially come to a close with the dissolution of the building committee this week.

“I’m proud to announce the Holland Hill project is completed,” Jason Li, the building committee chairman, told the selectmen in his final report on Monday.

The committee was established in early 2016 to oversee the elementary school expansion project, which brought the enrollment capacity from a little more than 300 up to 504, removing the need for the portable classrooms.

Town bodies approved $18.5 million for the project in 2017 and broke ground in 2018. The presentation at the time said the work would add five classrooms, along with a new general music room, new lockers for fourth and fifth graders in the addition, special education resource rooms, a larger kitchen area and a new performance platform/instrumental music classroom space.

It also expanded the central office area to allow for controlled visitor access and a nursing office. Under the project, all of the toilets are now compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. All existing lockers were replaced and a new gym floor installed, according to previous reports.

On Monday, Li said the work also expanded the north parking lot and added new furniture. It installed a new HVAC system so that there is fresh air and air conditioning throughout the building. There are also new electrical, firs and gas lines, as well as new serving lines in the cafeteria.

“We were fortunate enough we got this project done before the COVID pandemic hit,” he said.

He said they plan on returning $115,000 to the town with the project coming in under budget and getting everything included on the initial charge.

Li said all of the systems are online now and the town has taken control of the building.

The selectmen commended Li and the committee on the project, all of the members’ hardwork and getting it done under budget.

Selectman Thomas Flynn also suggested the town commemorate the late Harry Ackley and Thomas Quinn, who both served on the building committee and were influential in the project’s success.

“Mr. Ackley has done everything for the town, but Mr. Quinn, as it related to building committees, chaired so many of them and did so much for the students of this town,” he said. “There might be something appropriate there to honor those two men.”

Li also credited Quinn for everything he’s done and said the Parent Teacher Association established a garden there in his memory.