Shelton Superintendent of Schools Dr. Chris Clouet spoke to parents and Shelton residents regarding the plan to remove asbestos and repair Sunnyside School’s roof; however, not before residents voiced their opinions.
Sunnyside PTO member Anne Gaydos said she was disappointed to not find much information about the Public Improvement Building Committee meeting since April. She stated that there was no meeting in May, the June minutes were brief, there are no minutes available for July, and there will be not meeting in August.
She did, however, quote information from the May 18, 2015, PIBC meeting, concerning the asbestos issue at Sunnyside.
“In the minutes it was stated, and I quote,” Gaydos said, “There has been a question regarding
environmental testing on the roof. The information can be obtained quickly, but this has to be done. The issue is with the abating process. It is illegal to dump asbestos in the landfill. It needs to be disposed of properly. Shelton would be legally responsible if it were disposed of improperly…”
Gaydos wanted to know from the BOE how or when the project would get done, seeing that there is nearly six weeks left until school starts. Dr. Clouet responded, saying that he met with Mayor Mark Lauretti and the architect and he is assured that the project will be completed, but not before school starts.
Shelton resident Greg Mann expressed his disappointment in the project delay, saying that he finds it a failure on the Town of Shelton and the Shelton Board of Education.
“I think that if it was truly important, there would be proactivity to getting the work done,”
Mann said. “There were a lot of comments made by the Mayor, and a lot of comments made by the previous superintendent that this roof was going to be done by the summer. I think trading a library to appease parents is a real shame when the roof leaks. And there’s a lot of illness in the school, and it keeps getting passed from month-to-month, year-to year.”
BOE Chairman Mark Holden responded to Mann’s comment. He said the board does not have involvement in Shelton Capital Improvement Projects, stating that the funds were not part of the BOE’s budget. Holden said the City uses a Public Improvement Committee for those projects, which is appointed by the Board of Aldermen.
Clouet further discussed the plan for abatement of the asbestos and the roof repair. He said to remove the asbestos, it has to be done according to both legal and health standards; therefore, there could be no children in the school while the work is being done.
“I would prefer to see the roof done by the time school opens; that’s not going to happen, that’s not possible,” Dr. Clouet said.
He said the project should be expected to start by the end of the school year, but board member Kate Kutash inquired whether the project done on the weekends. Board member Dave Gioello responded to Kutash inquiry, saying that he was the asbestos abatement consultant when the school was renovated.
Gioello said to Kutash that if any asbestos were to get into the school then it must be evacuated, cleaned and tested to meet the state’s requirement for clearance, which could result in shutting the school down for a week.
In order for the State of Connecticut to approve the project, the funds have to be available, Dr. Clouet said.
He also said he has a firm commitment from the Mayor that the project will be ongoing and not brushed aside.
To watch Dr. Clouet discuss the plans for Sunnyside roof, view the video below.