Thursday, January 24, 2008

Troup, Clemente staying put

By Elizabeth Benton
Register Staff
— Troup Magnet Academy of Sciences will stay at 130 Leeder Hill Drive in Hamden through June, pushing back plans for Clemente Leadership Academy’s departure from their soon-to-be-demolished building as well.
Citing logistical concerns with a hasty, midyear move and potential disruption to families because of flip-flopping bus schedules, district officials announced Troup and Clemente will stay put for the rest of the school year.
The district’s swing space at Leeder Hill Drive now houses Troup students, whose Edgewood Avenue school is in the final stages of a $52 million face-lift.
Initial plans called for Troup to return to Edgewood this April, clearing space for nearly 600 pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade students from Clemente.
Clemente’s Columbus Avenue building is scheduled to be torn down this summer. A $42 million, 75,600-square-foot school will be built on the same site, with a scheduled 2009 opening.
Moving schools during April break was a large logistical hurdle, and was potentially disruptive to families, according to Schools Chief Operation Officer Will Clark.
Bus schedules could have moved as much as an hour, forcing families to rearrange schedules midyear. "Any time you’re going to do that move in a small window, over an April break, while possible, it would have a lot of logistical hurdles," Clark said.
Construction deadlines at Troup have not changed, and the school is still on track to be completed by April, he said.
Asbestos abatement is expected to begin at Clemente in early July, about a month later than planned. That would clear the site for demolition in August, said Tom Roger, director of school construction. "All these buildings have a certain amount of asbestos," he said.
Troup Principal Richard Kaliszewski said he had not been notified officially of the district’s decision, but supported the delay. "In terms of being less disruptive, it’s easier to make a move at the end of the school year, rather than during a vacation period. I’m not opposed to that," he said.
This is Troup’s third year in Hamden, and Kaliszewski said everyone is looking forward to the school returning to its permanent home. "It’s going to be a brand-new building, state of the art," he said.
Elizabeth Benton can be reached at or 789-5714.

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