The Duggan School in Waterbury’s Brooklyn neighborhood is a century-old centerpiece that many residents treasure, so much that the city will spend $6.5 million more than they originally planned to spend to improve it.
Three years ago, the Board of Education approved a renovation project to give the dilapidated building new life to accommodate 550 students in pre-K through 8th grade.
On Monday night, building members found out it’s going to cost a whole lot more than they budgeted to finish renovations. Construction crews uncovered a series of structural problems at the building that will cost taxpayers $6.5 million more than they expected.
Contractors could knock down the building and build a brand new one for an additional $3.8 million.
“It’s one problem, then another problem. It just seems to be compounding. I’m just not comfortable going forward,” John Theriault, a Board of Education member said .
After weighing its options, the building committee voted to recommend the board move forward with renovation.
Some members say there’s no guarantee the price won’t jump again. Others feel continuing renovation is the way to go.
“When the Mixmaster came through 50 years ago, it cut the neighborhood in half and it’s never been the same since. We promised residents we’d fix the Duggan School and that’s what we want to do,” Mary White, Chairwoman of the Building Committee, said .
The Board of Education will vote on the committee’s recommendation at the next meeting in two weeks.