Work continues on former school

Workers make repairs to the roof of the former Community School in Prospect on Tuesday. The town plans to use the building as a community center. –LUKE MARSHALL

Workers make repairs to the roof of the former Community School in Prospect on Tuesday. The town plans to use the building as a community center. –LUKE MARSHALL

PROSPECT — As the summer winds down, work on the former Community School is continuing full speed ahead.

The town bought the former school at 12 Center Street for $873,000 from Region 16, which oversees schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect. Work on repairing the building in order to make it ready to be used as a community center started in earnest after the sale closed in July.

Mayor Robert Chatfield had hoped the building would be ready by Labor Day weekend. With the work still continuing, that won’t be possible.

“There’s no new goal date yet, but it definitely won’t be open by Labor Day,” Chatfield said. “It is still a work in progress.”

So far the focus of the repairs has been on the roof, which was leaking and caused damage inside the building.

The roof work was broken into six phases: installing 2,500 square feet of membrane roofing over the former teachers’ room, installing 9,500 square feet of shingles and flashing, installing metal shingles at the base of the cupola, replacement of metal shingles, installing 6,200 square feet of membrane roofing over the gym, and installing 3,900 square feet of membrane roofing over some former classrooms.

The Prospect-based K&S Property Holdings was awarded an $87,140 contract for the first four phases. Thomaston-based Gold Seal Home Roofing was awarded an $110,000 contract for phases five and six.

Chatfield said K&S Property Holdings has finished its portion of the work.

The town has also been making repairs inside of the building.

“We are going through all the plumbing. We had to replace a lot of parts in the toilets. Since they weren’t used for so long, the parts all dried out and had to be replaced,” Chatfield said.

The town also plans to reinstall fiber optic cables, move a small oil pump inside the building, and replace a number of ceiling tiles that were damaged by the leaking roof.

In addition to the work they knew about, officials received a surprise when lighting hit the school recently and damaged the electrical panel that controls the fire alarms.

Chatfield said the panel only had to be repaired, not replaced, which meant it was back up and running quickly.

Voters previously approved up to $400,000 for repairs to the school. Chatfield said the work is still well under budget.

The work is to ensure that the building is completely up to code.

“Before we say we are opening for business the fire marshal and insurance inspector will inspect every nook and cranny of this building,” Chatfield said.