On August 5, 2021

‘Prosper Valley will be ready’

By Curt Peterson

Windsor Central Unified Union School District Buildings and Grounds Manager Joe Rigoli told the WCUUSD Board Monday, Aug. 2, that The Prosper Valley School (TPVS) in Pomfret, which has been closed because of moisture problems and non-toxic mold issues since 2018, will be ready for students on the first day of school in September.

“The project is 90% done,” Rigoli said.

It’s been a long haul for Rigoli and buildings and grounds committee chair Jim Haff (Killington), as well as for facilities staff and various contractors involved in the very extensive rehabilitation work.

“I have to say, we have encountered a few unexpected problems,” Rigoli said.

A very expensive and long-awaited dehumidifying system was installed this summer, but “It isn’t working to its full potential,” Rigoli lamented.

The school needs additional dehumidifying capacity installed in both the south and north sides of the building in order to prevent moisture build-up, at an estimated cost of $70-80,000.

Painting the building, also on Rigoli’s to-do list, has been delayed by this summer’s very wet weather. Meanwhile, $12,000 worth of exterior sheathing had to be replaced because of recently discovered rot.

Plans included coating the concrete slab on which TPVS is built with an epoxy sealant to help prevent future moisture invasion from the ground. But, Rigoli said, they found “significant overpour” had occurred when the original slab was created, and 1 inches of excess cured concrete had to be chipped away — at a cost of $74,000 — before the epoxy could be applied.

The total budget allotted for the mitigation of multiple problems was $795,000, and the actual cost so far has been $707,000, Haff told the Mountain Times.

For the building to be ready to host classes, it must be properly outfitted, too. The expense thus far “doesn’t include furniture and things like whiteboards,” Haff added.

The most recent problem involves the septic system, which Rigoli intended to have pumped out before the building is occupied. Upon inspection, a failed pump was discovered within a steel containment chamber.

“We don’t have a cost estimate yet for fixing that problem,” Rigoli said.

B&G chairman Haff reminded board members Monday that Rigoli has made progress on TPVS while simultaneously managing projects at all the other campuses.

Other projects included:

  • The Barnard Academy has a new fire alarm system and two new boilers that have been converted from oil to propane fuel;
  • TPVS also got a new propane boiler and alarm system;
  • Killington Elementary has a renovated playground and a new pre-kindergarten classroom with bathroom;
  • Woodstock Elementary and Reading Elementary have new carpeting, and Woodstock added a new pre-kindergarten classroom.
  • New bathrooms have been installed in Woodstock Middle and High Schools.

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