By Josh LaBella
Members of the board of education ventured down to the high school Monday night to view progress of the 108,000 square foot addition being constructed.
They were led through the site by West Haven High School Building Committee Chairman Ken Carney and employees of Antinozzi Associates, the firm hired to complete the project. Carney said the company had gone “above and beyond” what the contract entailed and were doing a great job.
“The quality of people on the job is second to none,” said Carney, “the quality [of the project] shows it.”
Carney said the $130 million project is on schedule to be “delivered” this August.
Among the areas the board toured were the main entrance, auditorium, cafeteria and shop classes. Superintendent Neil Cavallaro noted the large double-sided refrigerated room that would be near the cafeteria and said it would be a very good opportunity to expand the culinary program at the high school, which is increasing in popularity and growing. He said the cafeteria was designed to hold 400 students and that they were working on setting up a lunch rotation and schedule.
Board member Robert Guthrie said after viewing the project from the outside for so long he was pleased to see what has taken shape.
“It’s nice to see the auditorium taking shape. We have a lot of talented kids that put on productions there which complements our athletics,” said Guthrie. “We got to see the size of the media center, which is going to help our kids academically. So it’s nice to see those phases coming together, especially compared to the facilities we’re able to offer at the moment.”
Guthrie said the new facility was going to be state of the art and student-centered. Board member Rosa Richardson said she was truly impressed by the way the design was constructed, especially when regarding security.
“Currently, many of our classrooms have that little alcove,” said Richardson. “It’s an opportunity for somebody you don’t want to be able to hide. I just wanted to point out to my fellow members, if they look, everything’s in a straight line, there’s nowhere for anybody to hide anymore. That’s really important for safety reasons.”
Richardson said as a graduate of West Haven High School she was excited to see how far the project has come. She said she graduated in 1979 and the original building was old then.
“For us to finally see progress,” said Richardson, “and the positive technology step-ups and modernization and all of that is heartwarming. It’s really a good feeling.”
Cavallaro said he thought the project was very well received by the board of education. He said he visited the site a few weeks ago and wanted to bring board members to it so they could go into West Haven and get the community excited for it.
“We’ve been involved with this for nine years,” said Cavallaro, “and to finally see it start to come together, it’s really the highlight of my career. I’m really excited and I think it’s going to be a great thing for all of West Haven. Whether you have students in the building or not, everybody needs or uses some part of this building.”