Sherman School forms committee of experts to work on repairs: “Getting to the heart of the matter”

SHERMAN — The Sherman School has formed a new committee that says it’s dedicated to working on areas of the school that need repairs.

The committee, called the Special Committee on Facility Repair and Renovation, focused specifically on selecting members with knowledge of the construction industry, said Matt Vogt, vice president of the Sherman Board of Education and chair of the new committee. .

Three Sherman residents who work in the construction industry are named to the committee: Joseph Viola, director at Corporate Construction in Brookfield; Christian DeCunha, owner of Rock Harbor Builders in Sherman; and David Febbraio, owner of Structured Home Solutions LLC in Sherman.

“They have a lot of technical knowledge about buildings and the work that needs to be done for them,” Vogt said.

Other members of the committee are city selector Joel Bruzinski and school board member Tim Laughlin.

“The new committee is a partnership between board members who are familiar with the facility and new members who are in the construction industry, so we can work on it together,” Vogt said.

Prior to the formation of the new committee, the city worked on resolving issues with the Sherman School through its Special Committee on Capital Planning – which has since been disbanded.

Planned works

The new committee toured the Sherman School building and looked at some of the areas they believe need repair.

They will figure out the best way to fix the building as a whole, said Vogt, who added that in the short term they plan to fix some of the smaller issues that should be fixed sooner rather than later.

A short-term objective concerns the school’s water supply. The water is hard due to mineral buildup, which damages the building’s plumbing. The school offers bottled water to students and teachers. There are water coolers throughout the building where they can refill their water bottles or use paper cups.

“The first steps will be trying to find a softening system that we can implement,” Vogt said.

Additionally, there are problems with the school’s internal infrastructure – its heating and cooling system, as well as problems with cladding, electricity and windows, he said.

One of the longer-term issues is the roof, which was a hot topic in town last year.

About 50% of the total roof area is no longer under warranty and beyond industry standards for useful life, school officials said. Buckets had been placed on numerous occasions to collect water from leaks.

In December, residents voted against a temporary roof repair. Instead, school officials will work on a permanent, one-time repair.

Vogt said each of the needed repairs shouldn’t be seen as an isolated issue.

“Each of these things is linked to the other, so real planning has to happen first before we can tackle these issues,” he said. “Our goal is to work together collaboratively and come up with a plan to eventually fix the entire building”

‘Preliminary steps’

The new committee recently met to walk around the building, where they discussed areas for repair at the school, which has about 270 students in kindergarten to grade 8.

They will assess the costs of several different approaches. They also plan to seek the help of an architect.

“We’re only in the early stages of getting into the nitty-gritty of the building and what it really needs,” Vogt said.

He said the committee had made it clear that they wanted to “leave no stone unturned”.

“The goal is to make a recommendation to the city on how best to fix the school, and every member wants to be absolutely sure that they are 100% on board with that recommendation,” he said. .

He added that the formation of the new committee “is a good step forward”.

“It’s been a very positive experience so far,” Vogt added.

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