NAUGATUCK — Naugatuck schools will be closed Thursday and Friday as the borough continues to clean up in the wake of this weekend’s blizzard.
“Borough and Board of Education officials met this morning and determined it was in the best interests of our children and public safety to close schools through the remainder of the week until more work can be completed. While we know many parents and students are eager for schools to reopen, we must ensure maximum safety when it comes to our children,” Naugatuck Mayor Robert Mezzo wrote in a blog post announcing the cancelations.
The biggest issue facing the schools in getting the streets and sidewalks clean enough for students to either walk to school or wait at a bus stop.
“We want to be sure that students are safely able to travel to school and get home. We’re still cleaning up streets and sidewalks,” Superintendent of Schools John Tindall-Gibson said
Next week was originally scheduled to be Naugatuck’s winter break. Monday and Tuesday are currently scheduled days off. The last three days of the break were already canceled to makeup for three days that were canceled for Hurricane Sandy late last summer.
Monday and Tuesday will remain days off, Tindall-Gibson said. The district will add snow days on at the end of the year. Currently, the students will finish school on June 21, he said, and anymore snow days will be added on after that.
Public Works crews and private contractors are continuing the work of widening roads and removing snow from streets and neighborhoods.
Mezzo said snow removal will continue Wednesday night into Thursday morning in downtown Naugatuck and Union City areas. The Whittemore Bridge over Maple Street will be closed from 8 p.m. Wednesday until 6 a.m. Thursday for cleanup. Most of the removal efforts during this time will take place on Maple Street and Church Street in downtown and on North Main Street in Union City, Mezzo said.
Residents are asked to remove all parked vehicles on and around those streets by 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and travel will be limited in these areas during the cleanup.
Mezzo added that the borough will not be fining people who have not shoveled the sidewalks in front of their properties at this time.
“We would appreciate if residents can address their sidewalks by the end of this coming weekend if at all possible,” Mezzo said.
Region 16 schools will be open Thursday.