Classroom shuffle

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NHS set for next phase of project

Work continues on the main entryway at Naugatuck High School. Over the weekend, the school will begin the next phase of the $81 million renovate-to-new project by bringing some classrooms in the North wing back online and beginning work on other classrooms in the wing. –LUKE MARSHALL
Work continues on the main entryway at Naugatuck High School. Over the weekend, the school will begin the next phase of the $81 million renovate-to-new project by bringing some classrooms in the North wing back online and beginning work on other classrooms in the wing. –LUKE MARSHALL

NAUGATUCK — Naugatuck High School will take advantage of the coming three-day weekend to transition to the next phase of the ongoing renovate-to-new project.

The work on classrooms in the North wing of the school, which used to be called Judd, is shifting to the odd side of the wing, Principal Janice Saam said.

When students return to the high school on Tuesday — schools are closed Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day — 13 classrooms on the even side of the wing will come back online.

The classrooms — eight English classrooms, one social studies classroom, one physics classroom and three special education rooms — have been completely renovated. A fresh look, including new desks and whiteboards, will greet students next week.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Saam said.

The classes that are currently on the odd side of the North wing will be moved to temporary classrooms in and around the resource center. A temporary wall will be built in the hallway of the North wing to prevent students from going into the rooms that are under construction.

Work to prepare the wing for next week is expected to be completed over the weekend.

In order to give teachers time to get their new and temporary classrooms set up, the high school will have a delayed opening Tuesday. The school day will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday for high school students.

This will be the last large move of the school year, Saam said. There will be two smaller moves, one over Presidents’ Day Weekend in February and the other over the weekend before April vacation, she said.

The move is the next step in the ongoing $81 million renovate-to-new project that began in April 2013.

Overall the project has been going smoothly, Saam said. However, a problem involving the auditorium recently popped up.

“The only little wrinkle that’s happening now is the auditorium. It does not, at this point in time, look like the auditorium will come back online at all for this school year,” Saam said.

Saam said unexpected structural problems in the auditorium have caused the work to take longer than anticipated.

Saam said not having the auditorium will be a problem near the end of the school year when annual events such as Rip the Runway, Mr. Greyhound, spring concerts and the honors night celebration are supposed to take place.

“I feel bad for our students who might have to miss out on some really important events for them that happen at the end of the school year,” Saam said. “Not everything will get canceled. We’ll be able to move things, but it’s just not the same when it’s not in your school.”