While the new lights and revamped stadium field seem to be the talk of the town, a number of improvements and upgrades are being made to schools across the district. Mike Lynch, the Facilities Director for the district, updated the Board of Education and the administration on the progress that has been made to this point so far in the summer and the July 25 meeting. Lynch’s presentation, which features photos of each project across the district, can be seen by going to the Darien Board of Education website, navigating to board meeting materials, and clicking Summer Projects Update.

At Middlesex, the upper field will be resodded in the coming weeks. As of the meeting new sod was still yet to be delivered, but the field should be ready for the start of school. All the restrooms will receive new partitions for the stalls. New carpeting will soon be installed in the band room, as will the raised floor.

At Hindley, the main office, nurses office, and main conference room have all been moved to the front of the building. A number of smaller spaces were renovated to create two full sized classrooms, and the area that used to be the main office has been instructional space as well. The nurse’s office received new plumbing as well. A computer lab was repurposed to create these new instructional space, which was a logical step following the continuing 1:1 technology rollout.

A great deal of masonry repair was done at Holmes school. At Ox Ridge, some very large trees that had died were removed. In addition, the playground was repaved, and the ramp was redone for accessibility. The grade has been reduced so it the ramp is not as steep as it was before. The roadway down to the ball wall and playground was redone in a similar fashion.

A new generator was installed at Royle school, as well as new fire alarm paneling and devices that replace the current system. The auditorium stage was refinished as well. At Tokeneke, shades were installed in the great hall.

As for the ongoing lights project, a number of photos and updates were offered by Lynch. The old turf was scraped up for easy removal, and the rubber pellets were put in bags to be recycled. The lights themselves were purchased by the Darien Athletic Foundation, and have been installed. The new sound system will be installed and ready before the start of school.  The track is still being finished, but is nearly done being resurfaced, and will get all new markings. The screening trees are expected to be planted in mid August.

Most of the work done is not the glamorous type, as buildings receive necessary safety and functionality upgrades and maintenance. The board and administration have projects and work planned as much as five years into the future, with most of those projects being of this variety, as buildings across the district see similar maintenance. As the state moves forward and tries to improve financial standing, the board may be forced with increasingly difficult choices regarding projects to maintain and improve Darien schools.