Parents and students are experiencing some new traffic patterns at West Haven High School as the third phase of its reconstruction begins, according to one of the committee members. Pile-drivers and demolition equipment have caused the closure of some of the road behind the school, and the loss of some parking spaces in the teacher’s parking lot.
According to Ken Carney, a member of the WHHS Construction Committee, the new traffic patterns and loss of parking spaces are necessary for new work to get underway.
Currently the slab that once supported the former G-wing of the building is being ripped up and carted away. The wing, which housed the school’s shops was demolished in 2017.
According to Carney, who was the only one of five city officials contacted by the Voice to respond, said parking should not be a problem as the construction crews transition to the next phase of the plan.
“The team spent a lot of time developing a new traffic flow,” he said. “We have lost some parking spaces but we also where able to make those spaces up by opening the gates to the field parking lot. Overall I think we have a good safe plan in place. In total we took 75 spaces and we added 56 spaces plus the parking near the tennis courts which can account for another 40 spaces.”
The school will have the older building closed section by section and newer construction will take its place. The project was originally announced in 2009 by Superintendent of Schools Neil Cavallaro, but was stalled by several factors, including funding and what programs would be offered to non-college-bound students.
Carney said the next goal is getting the new foundation in place.
“We will begin the excavation for the foundation for the next phase which includes the new cafeteria, admin offices, auditorium and main entrance,”
Carney said the third phase of the project will see many changes as it moves toward completion.
Plans call for construction of the cafeteria, new administration offices, auditorium and main office. That will be followed by construction of two new gyms and renovation of the B- and C-wings.
The E-wing will then see demolition as well as the current administrative offices, cafeteria and media center/library.
That will be followed by renovations of the F-wing and what remains of the E-wing. The third phase ends with demolition of the A-, B- and C-wings, including the existing gyms and academic areas.
Carney said things are moving along well, and the committee is working together toward a successful completion.
“It’s a great team we have in place and how well everyone is working together, Building Committee, administration and construction teams. We’ve all never been happier and seeing more progress,” he said.
Ed. Note: Ken Carney is majority owner of West Haven Voice.