Greenwich Schools Hope to Select Vendor for Cos Cob School Reconstruction This Week

After a week-long school closure due to a water leak and flooding, Cos Cob School students returned to school on October 15, with Kindergarten being bused to Parkway School.

Grades 1-2 are being bused to Old Greenwich School.

Grades 3-5 are able to remain at Cos Cob School on the unaffected third floor.

By October 22, the Board of Education, Board of Estimate and Taxation, and the Representative Town Meeting expedited and voted to accept an interim appropriation request of $1.9 million to cover clean up, remediation and reconstruction of the school, as well as costs for furniture, transportation and other relocation-related expenses.

As of Monday, October 29, the clean up and remediation activities have been completed.

During the remediation process, contractors were invited to quote the reconstruction project.

Contractors inspected the site, and then developed and submitted quotes.

Quotes for reconstruction are being reviewed by the District and the insurance company.

The District expects to select a vendor this week.

The District will then work with the various Town departments to expedite the contract and insurance approval processes in order to begin construction as soon as possible.

The intention is to have the reconstruction work and subsequent inspections and approvals completed in time to return to the school over the December Recess.

Baseline air quality testing was conducted on October 8 and periodic testing continues. To date, all air quality test results have been within acceptable standards. Although Cos Cob School was rebuilt in 1993, well after the elimination of use of products with asbestos, in an abundance of caution, the
District tested for asbestos as well. All tests for asbestos were negative.

“Cos Cob School continues to meet each relocation hurdle as a community and
faces these challenges with positivity and perseverance,” said principal Gene Schmidt. “I couldn’t be prouder of all Cos Cob School students, and the manner
in which they have all adjusted to their new everyday routines.”

Schmidt said the school’s morning and afternoon arrival and dismissal procedures are working well. He thanked staff members who come early each morning to check in students for the buses.

He also thanked Professional Assistants for riding the buses to and from school each day.

Mr. Schmidt also thanked the parents who have been supportive.

“Mr. Reid and I continue to be at all three schools and can report that students are excited, fully engaged and on task throughout the day. I also thank our host schools for making the transition so smooth,” Schmidt added.

Background:
On or about Saturday, October 6, a plumbing fixture broke in the second floor art room at Cos Cob School causing a water leak. The leak was discovered Sunday evening, October 7, when falling ceiling tiles set off motion detectors alerting the Greenwich Police Department. School was closed for the week of October 8-12, while a relocation plan was developed and clean-up began.
Old Greenwich School absorbed four sections of Grade 1, and three sections of Grade 2 into five classrooms.

Cos Cob School’s Grade 1 classrooms, with 15-16 students in each section, were combined into two classrooms with two teachers per classroom, maintaining the teacher to student ratio in a co-teaching model. In order to provide five classrooms for Cos Cob School for the short-term, Old Greenwich School displaced band, Spanish, Science lab, Computer lab and English Language Learning classes.

As the only school in the District with enough space on the ground floor to absorb the full Cos Cob School Kindergarten, Parkway School is hosting all four of Cos Cob Schools’ four Kindergarten classes.

By state statute, Kindergarten and first grade classrooms must be located on the ground floor of the building.

In order to provide classroom space for Cos Cob School, Parkway School displaced instrumental band, English Language Learning, Science, Spanish, and Advanced Learning Program classes that shared three of the classrooms. Parkway also gave up their Maker Space in the Media Center to use for the fourth Cos Cob School classroom.

While not optimal, as a short-term solution, instruction for the displaced classes at Parkway and Old Greenwich Schools is currently being delivered as a push-in model, and/or finding space in conference rooms, classrooms and other areas while not in use during the day’s schedule.

Extent of damage:
First floor: main office suite, conference room, nurses suite and 7 classrooms/program spaces
Second floor: 3 classrooms, Science lab, media center, computer lab and art room. Damage is primarily limited to millwork/cabinetry, ceilings (tile and drywall), walls (opened up for air to mitigate potential mold growth) and flooring (carpet tile and Vinyl Composition Tile (VCT)).