NEW BRITAIN – Several city officials got their first glimpse of the construction project at Smalley Elementary School Wednesday morning during a walk through. The school has been undergoing more than $50 million worth of renovations over the last several months.
Newfield Construction Project Manager Brian Grant lead the tour which included Mayor Erin Stewart, Superintendent of Schools Nancy Sarra, members of the School Building Committee, council members and others. The school is being renovated to accommodate 750 students and has expanded in size from 82,000 square-feet to 104,000 square-feet.
“This has been a long time coming,” said Stewart. “The school was bursting at the seams. It was very old and out dated. If we expect our students to learn well, we have to give them a good environment to work in,” she added.
Smalley School is the most densely populated school in the city, according to the New Britain Consolidated School District. In the past, the school could not accommodate all its kindergarteners.
Students returning to the school in September will find it completely unrecognizable as the building was stripped down and revamped.
The new main entrance will have more safety features such as bullet proof transaction window. Eight new classrooms were added and original classrooms were reconfigured into faculty offices. Pre-kindergarten and kindergarteners will have their own drop-off section of the building.
The school has been undergoing multiple additions including two new classroom wings; one for pre-kindergarten and kindergartners and the other for students in the first through fifth grades.New additions to the media center, an elevator replacement and brand new stairwells are also in the plans.
There will be two new playgrounds: one for preschool and kindergarteners and another for older students. At least one of the playgrounds will feature amphitheatre-style seating for outdoor learning.
“It’s amazing,” said Sarra. I’m really excited for our families and students who get to come home to the renovations.”
Smalley School was originally built in 1971 and underwent renovations in 1997.
Construction is on schedule and the work is expected to be completed in early August.
Michelle France can be reached at 860-801-5087 or firstname.lastname@example.org.