Tuesday, July 16, 2024

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CMS Reopening Pushed Back to Late November

It was originally planned that students would return to CMS — which is undergoing an intensive yearlong $32-million renovation project after it was closed two years ago for health concerns — on time for the first day of school this year.

In April, due to issues relating to the pandemic, O’Day told the BOE it would be at least Oct. 1 before students could return owing to material delays and personnel issues.

At that time Anthony Buono, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, said he felt it would have a very negative impact on teaching and learning if the delay went beyond the end of October, as Bedford Middle School (BMS) is currently housing all of Westport’s middle school students.

Likewise, at that time BMS principal Adam Rosen said it would cause significant scheduling changes throughout the entire building if the CMS students didn’t return early in the fall.

Most recently O’Day said there would be a Nov. 5 return for students.

“Required structural repairs on the roof were frankly more time consuming than expected,” he said tonight, calling it their best effort and noting that various aspects of the project were interrelated with delays and issues.

He defended the work of his committee, as well as the construction company.

“It really should be much, much worse,” he said, calling the date impressive. “This is yeoman’s work to get on to the 18th.”

BOE members were largely mute on the news, though Chair Candice Savin pointed out that past target dates have been categorized as when the students would be back inside the building, and not just when the building would be “handed over” to the BOE.

“We may create expectations that are confusing,” Savin said, noting this time O’Day was referencing a technical completion.

Toward that end O’Day said the BOE needed to work closely with his committee in the coming weeks to try and reduce the amount of time between the handoff and when students could return to CMS for class.

“We have to find some time to get regular scheduled meetings set up and attended to make sure all of the pre-work happens, and it minimizes the days that are spent between hand off and opening day,” he said.

It was originally planned that students would return to CMS — which is undergoing an intensive yearlong $32-million renovation project after it was closed two years ago for health concerns — on time for the first day of school this year.

In April, due to issues relating to the pandemic, O’Day told the BOE it would be at least Oct. 1 before students could return owing to material delays and personnel issues.

At that time Anthony Buono, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, said he felt it would have a very negative impact on teaching and learning if the delay went beyond the end of October, as Bedford Middle School (BMS) is currently housing all of Westport’s middle school students.

Likewise, at that time BMS principal Adam Rosen said it would cause significant scheduling changes throughout the entire building if the CMS students didn’t return early in the fall.

Most recently O’Day said there would be a Nov. 5 return for students.

“Required structural repairs on the roof were frankly more time consuming than expected,” he said tonight, calling it their best effort and noting that various aspects of the project were interrelated with delays and issues.

He defended the work of his committee, as well as the construction company.

“It really should be much, much worse,” he said, calling the date impressive. “This is yeoman’s work to get on to the 18th.”

BOE members were largely mute on the news, though Chair Candice Savin pointed out that past target dates have been categorized as when the students would be back inside the building, and not just when the building would be “handed over” to the BOE.

“We may create expectations that are confusing,” Savin said, noting this time O’Day was referencing a technical completion.

Toward that end O’Day said the BOE needed to work closely with his committee in the coming weeks to try and reduce the amount of time between the handoff and when students could return to CMS for class.

“We have to find some time to get regular scheduled meetings set up and attended to make sure all of the pre-work happens, and it minimizes the days that are spent between hand off and opening day,” he said.

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