Cafeteria renovation project back on track
DARIEN — Despite the discovery of three power lines under the original planned site, the Darien High School cafeteria project has taken steps in resolving the setback.
“We are in the process of moving all the power lines,” said Jill McCammon, head of the Darien High School Cafeteria Project Committee.
The decision was to build new duct banks — structures designed to hold the power lines — and the power lines are scheduled to be moved this weekend.
The goal for the project is to still have the interior of the cafeteria completely renovated. An external expansion of the cafeteria is also in the plan, but construction for that will only begin once the power lines are handled.
“The power lines needed to be move for a variety of reasons, most of which is proper planning and use of the site,” she said.
Though there are variables like weather that could delay the project, the renovation is on schedule to be completed by the first day of school, McCammon said. The intention throughout this process, she said, is to not affect any function of the school.
“The cafeteria will be running, but they won’t be able to enter the
extension,” she said.
While the cafeteria revamp will be completed in August, the external expansion is expected to be completed in the fall.
McCammon said the project committee got permission from the Board of Selectmen to move the power lines, and additional funds were approved by the Board of Finance.
“The original finances did not include money to remove the power lines,” she said.
After the discovery of the power lines, the Board of Finance approved $262,000 on May 17 to be bonded, which allowed the Board of Education to fund the excavation and reburial of the lines before the cafeteria is renovated and additions begin. The total was less than the $336,000 cost originally estimated and requested by the Cafeteria Building Committee.
Board of Finance Chairman Jon Zagrodzky said the board has its own contingency fund independent of the project to help with other unexpected expenses.
Between the expansion and the renovation, the project will add 95 new seats in the Darien High cafeteria, which currently seats 330 students.