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THS 'Getting Better' Since Opening Day

Renovations are expected to conclude in late December.

Trumbull High School remains in the spotlight as renovations are scheduled to draw to a close by late December.

"I think every day things are getting better in the school. The complaints are getting less and less every single day," Al Barbarotta, owner's representative, told the Town Council recently.

The next steps are stripping and refinishing the floors and completing a "punchlist" of final details.

"All the elements to occupying the building are done," he said.

The school opened Aug. 27 after a big push to clean it up and test its alarm systems.

Some items still need fixing.

Channel 17/99, the local access channel showing taped government meetings, needs its studio connected.

And despite that all HVAC equipment is up and running and all boilers and controllers are installed, the building is still being heated and cooled unevenly, said Town Councilman Gregg Basbagill, a THS teacher.

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Barbarotta said there is enough electricity to run all the units adding that it's a control issue. The system still needs bugs worked out, he said.

Councilman Tony Scinto took issue with the school's roof.

"The school looks like a coal-burning plant," he said. "It looks like there shipping containers on top of the roof. It looks kind of awful, that's just my opinion."

Barbarotta replied he would look into fencing to improve the roof's appearance. He later blamed the school's design back in the 1970s for not allowing enough space to hide the units.

Meanwhile, the town is having problems collecting reimbursement for the renovation costs, Barbarotta said. The town has qualified for partial reimbursement for making the school "like new," a technical state term.

"I intend to personally call [state Education Department] Commissioner [Stefan] Pryor," said First Selectman Tim Herbst.

Still up in the air is the concession stand. The lowest bid is too high, and some Council members want a scaled down but serviceable new building to sell simple game fare like hotdogs, chips and soda, rather than a more expensive one with bathrooms. 

Steve September 11, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Regarding Tony's opinion of the "roof top units" (rtu's) at the THS... I completely agree. I will pre-emptily apologize my rambling here, due to word limitation I will use two consecutive “comment” spaces. Having some insight into why the architect's may have located the rtu's in those locations (available area, economy of proximity, acoustics...) I will make several, rather large presumptions: First, the architect knew the negative aesthetic impact of these rtu's and accurately represented them via Roof Plans, Exterior Elevations, Site Sections (depicting site lines from an elevated Strobel Rd.) and a 3D computer generated animated "drive by". Second, the architect, armed with all this compelling graphic and animated data, proposed to a willing, well informed client...some clever (hopefully cost-effective) way to visually screen these unsightly rtu's. Third, the construction manager (CM), in an effort to save money (value engineering) suggests such screening simply be removed from the project, emphasizing only pragmatic and economic advantages. (continued in next “Comment”) Thanks. Steve
Steve September 11, 2012 at 02:25 PM
(continued from previous “Comment”) The Building Committee, unfortunately finds itself needing to make some hard, cost-saving decisions and the implied, soft aesthetic merits of the rtu visual screening become easy to dismiss... even on the flagship facility of our school system. Architects need to "integrate" any desired/required visual screening into the design, so it can't be toggled off later; and the CM must share and recognize the importance of such elements. Again, this is speculation. I don't know the history here, but similar troubling scripts get played out far too often. The unfortunate lesson of such compromise is plain to see. Thanks again. Steve
mary isaac September 11, 2012 at 08:13 PM
The newly renovated Media Center can not open as there is no way to scan books in and out. There are no computers in the Center's computer lab. There is no Wi-Fi. There are no computers in digital computer labs. There is no computer for the computer tech person. There are some classrooms without smartboards and/or whiteboards. Some without sufficient desks and some without doors. And this is just a small, however extremely important, part of what needs to be finished for this renovation to be complete. The above are major issues which impact the students and staff and are unacceptable. I guess I would have to disagree with Mr. Barbarotta on his take on the renovation.
John Annick September 11, 2012 at 09:28 PM
To all our Trumbull Community Television viewers we apologize for the service interruption and that we have contacted all the key personnel to give us the necessary priority to get the channel back “on the air.” We want to serve you.
Joe Smith September 12, 2012 at 08:45 AM
High School construction getting better? Don't believe it. The only "punchlist" around here is Trumbull taxpayers getting punched in the gut. More like they all contribute to Tim's golf tournament and everyone closes their eyes. OPEN YOUR EYES AARON LEO! Go hang out on the golf course for the real story. This story is just a bunch of lies. Good job Tony! Don't let them get away with turning the school into an coal mine. Stay on top of the issues. If it doesn't look good, it can't be good.
Aaron Leo (Editor) September 12, 2012 at 11:57 AM
OK, Joe, please tell me what else is wrong with the school in your opinion? Thanks.
Some Body September 13, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Trust me, by the time you step foot into Trumbull High, you'll forget about how the rooftop units look. Inside the building, the list of items incomplete and/or not even started would astound you. Teachers have rooms without doors/locks or student desks. Computer-based courses have had no computers since the start of school. How can you teach desktop publishing without computers? There is one computer lab in the school that everyone has to share. Last year there were at 3 plus laptop carts and iPads. Even rooms "finished" last summer have important, nagging unresolved issues (holes in the floor/broken lab cabinets). There appears to be no urgency to finish this project on time OR correctly. I wish Mr. Leo had dug a bit deeper on this story.
Aaron Leo (Editor) September 14, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Thanks for the additional information Some Body.
Bob September 14, 2012 at 02:22 PM
My daughter is still sitting at picnic tables in her Honors English class. I am waiting to see if they will get rid of them before parents arrive at Back to School night next week. This should be interesting.
dave wilsoon September 21, 2012 at 03:26 PM
some parts of the building are still without electricity- someone is not telling the truth here and it starts at the top.
JR September 21, 2012 at 04:42 PM
The 9/12/2012 THSBC minutes don't mention anything about any parts of the building without electricity. Are you saying there are classrooms without lights?
Steve September 21, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Regarding THS I'm literally "on the outside, looking in", my children don't attend yet. So, my impressions are purely external (exterior). Again, I will persume the items of concern (punchlist stuff) will, in time... be done. Those items are (should be) part of the Construction/Contract Documents & Specifications. We (Trumbull) own the project as documented. Not to say a fire shoudn't be set under someone to get it done timely, or face some penalty...which should also be in the contract. But, unfortunately we may not own a solution for visually screening those ugly "roof to units". Can someone tell me if visually screening the RTU's was discussed (or dismissed) during the design/document phases of the THS project? Thanks.
Joe Smith September 26, 2012 at 12:27 AM
Hey! There was a double rainbow the other day! God thinks everything is getting better.
Joe Smith October 07, 2012 at 10:30 AM
Hey Aaron. Where's the story about THS construction update after the BOE meeting? Are things still getting better? Why don't you want Trumbull taxpayers to know what a fiasco the construction is?
Aaron Leo (Editor) October 08, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Anyone know if the THS media center is open?

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