Region 16 eyes 3-part capital project at Woodland

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By Elio Gugliotti, Editor

Region 16 officials are planning to bond for a three-part capital project at Woodland Regional High School that includes replacing the track at the school. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

BEACON FALLS — A large capital project to make improvements to athletic facilities at Woodland Regional High School is coming down the pike.

Region 16 officials want to replace the track and gymnasium floor, and update the weight room at the school. The project is its infancy, and there are no plans or cost estimates at this point.

Officials introduced the idea during the Board of Education’s Sept. 8 meeting.

“I want the community to start knowing that we are going to look to bond this project,” Superintendent of Schools Michael Yamin said.

The track around the football field is as old as the school — 20 years. The board has consistently put money into repairing the track over recent years.

Yamin said he can’t see continuing to spend $20,000 to $30,000 on repairs instead of replacing the track.

“It seems like we’re putting good money after bad,” he said.

Mark Parrino, director of facilities, said he had preliminary discussions last fall with companies to get an idea on how much it might cost to replace the track. The estimate at the time was $750,000 to $850,000, he said.

Parrino said drainage work will also be needed for the football field.

The gym floor is starting to split in areas, Parrino said.

“It’s not a safety issue at this point, but you’re getting to the point where it really needs to be repaired or replaced,” he said.

Parrino said if the board moves forward with replacing the gym floor, updating the weight room is the next step. He said there have been no updates to the weight room in 20 years.

Voters in the region, which is composed of Beacon Falls and Prospect, will ultimately have to approve borrowing money for the project.

The process will take at least six months to get to a referendum, said Anthony DiLeone, director of finance and business operations. He said the board needs to appoint a bond counsel for legal representation, then work with an architect to develop plans and a budget for the project.

The board is expected to continue discussing the project at its Oct. 13 meeting.