Osborn Hill School Cleanup Comes to $4.2 Million

The price tag includes a plan to remedy the gym and to complete the initial window replacement project that lead to the discovery of PCBs in the elementary school.

The Osborn Hill School PCB remediation process will cost Fairfield approximately $4.2 million -- an amount that covers both the removal of chemicals and other improvements to the school.

The Board of Selectmen approved a bond resolution totaling $4,195,013 Wednesday, and it will go before the Board of Finance and RTM before the funds are appropriated.

Since PCBs -- a mixture of chemicals classified as probable human carcinogens -- were discovered in the school last summer, the efforts to remediate the building to date have cost the district $820,613.

"We're at the point where we can no longer absorb the costs in our operating budget," Superintendent of Schools Dr. David Title said.

PCBs were discovered during routine hazardous materials testing before the district began a window replacement project on the school. The chemicals were discovered in various areas in the school, including in window caulking and the gymnasium. The initial window project has not begun yet.

The school was completely reopen -- with the exception of the -- to staff and students on Friday, when the library was cleared for use, Title said.

Though PCBs were found in window caulking, they were encapsulated and not airborne, allowing most of Osborn Hill School to open on time for the school year.

Had the district relocated Osborn Hill students, the town would have "incurred even more expenses -- significantly more," Title said.

The bond resolution approved Wednesday will cover the costs spent to date as well as the $3.7 million price tag associated with a plan to remediate, renovate, and possibly expand the gym, the replacement of specified windows, enclosing the covered canopy walkway, connecting the main school to the annex building, and removing and remediating any other hazardous materials found in the existing building's envelope.

For more about the ongoing situation at Osborn Hill School, see:

  • Officials Address Concerns about PCBs at Osborn Hill School
  • School Board Seeks $820K for First Round of Osborn Hill Cleanup


Jim Eastwood January 07, 2013 at 10:57 AM
WHY ????????? Competeive Bids ????????? Yes or No ?????? Have a Great Day(and we will pay and pay !!!)
Brian January 07, 2013 at 12:08 PM
Don't look at Ludlowe HS windows! That co$t will make the 4+ mil look like a bargain. Wasn't Osborn "renovated" about a decade ago? Guess that didn't touch the "gym"/all purpose room where so many public meeting were once held.
Osborn Hiller January 07, 2013 at 12:41 PM
Brian, you are thinking of the APR (All Purpose Room) that serves as the lunchroom and auditorium. The gym is in the back, hasn't had much done since 1968.
Joeseph Biff January 07, 2013 at 01:39 PM
This all started with $350.000 or so to take care of the PCBS in window caulking and has now balooned up to over $4 million for a new Gym,etc. and etc.$820 K for the "first round"? $15 million for Riverfield.How much more ??? Many tax payers are at the breaking point now.Start charging the parents for school sports such as "Cheering"(lol ) and Ski clubs.How do these activities help students in academics?
Osborn Hiller January 07, 2013 at 02:09 PM
We're not getting a new gym, or any other shinny new playtoys. In the course of testing for PCBs it was found that some areas, especially the gym, had highly elevated levels of PCB, and are not inhabitable. The price "ballooned" because a major environmental hazard was found.
FairfieldNative January 07, 2013 at 03:03 PM
The Obsorn remediation is a necessary expense. PCB is a poison children & staff members are being exposed to. The Million Dollar ($1,000,000.00!) COPPER ROOF for FWMS certainly was NOT a necessary expense and MANY items the Fairfield "leaders" have thrown money at have not been necessary yet they have gone forward with them anyway. They are spending other people's money so why not? We the Taxpayers of Fairfield are at the mercy of these people and their decisions! Politicians seem to have missed the point that many of us are tapped out. Homes are upside down, washed away, jobs are gone ~ yet the TAX MAN cometh... Have mercy on us! Do only what is necessary! How did that very expensive wall around Penfield Pavillion work out for us? It survived but the $5.2M plastic pavillion it was supposed to protect? ...Let me guess...it's now another project for us to fund?
Fairfield Old Timer January 07, 2013 at 04:04 PM
A low-cost alternative to removing the spray-applied fireproofing in the gym that contains PCB's would be to "encapsulate" the material in place as is often done with asbestos-containing fireproofing. The product below is typical of the type of encapsulant used for this type of job: http://www.norkan.com/encapsulants.html This would greatly reduce the airborne concentrations of PCB's in the gym as recommended by the CT DPH and would cost the Tax Payers of Fairfield a lot less as well!
Jim Eastwood January 07, 2013 at 05:25 PM
Fairfield Old Timer YOU ARE CORRECT AGAIN !!!!! Did this go to bid ?? For the Fairfield Prosperous Pampered Parinod Parents Check out you own house or your place of work or even your own Car--PCB's have been around for a Long time--In Short any Plastic, or Electrical componet(Especially transformers) contain small amounts of PCB's So stop going to work, stop using your TV or your computer or your cell phone, Stop driving your car Especially those with Hybrids and STOP THE RUN AWAY EXPENSE OF THE EDUCATION SYSTEM !!!!! Have a great day and(Continue to Pay and Pay !!!!!!!)
Sean O'Donnell January 07, 2013 at 06:01 PM
PCB's are in a lot of our everyday envoironments, in trace amounts, and are easily sealed over with paint or other materials suitable for fireproofing sprays. This is not too costly to remedy, There are experts who deal with these issues in the Private Sector Building Maintainenance everyday, Private Sector Buildings, are way less costly to maintain, WHY ? ? ?
brian kelly January 07, 2013 at 06:01 PM
where is all this money going to come from? the government is broke! the state is broke! the town is broke! the average american is broke! we are quite simply two years behind greece...is the entire country in a coma?
Sean O'Donnell January 07, 2013 at 06:24 PM
The US citizen has the highest tax debt Per Capita in the whole world, Local Governments Debt + States Governments Debt + Federal Government Debt = Total US Citizen Government Debt, when divided by Total Population we are the Greatest Debtor Nation in the Whole World. We are worse than Greece, whose Government cannot Print Euros or Steal from the Greek Old Age Pension Fund.
Osborn Hiller January 07, 2013 at 09:35 PM
I'm not sure what the point is to all these references to Greece. I guess the first step in every fiscal journey starts with the first step of screwing our kids. Right now the Osborn Hill school gym is basically condemned. Even if every OHS parent felt OK with their kids using the gym, because of EPA and CT DEP regs., occupancy wouldn't be allowed. So we must do what needs to be done to fix the problem.
John Jameson January 07, 2013 at 09:48 PM
But what does encapuslating the fireproofing do to its effectiveness? The reason the spray-on fireproofing was used when the gym was added was to save the cost of a sprinkler system. If it's encapsulated, would that then mean a sprinkler system is still needed, and if so, what kind of money are you really saving?
Sean O'Donnell January 07, 2013 at 10:23 PM
Do you know how Many Foreclosures are from Real Estate Tax liens? taxing Parents and Children out of town, yes we are looking to get the best Cost Benefit for our children from the Taxes We Pay to Deliver Education.
Jim Eastwood January 08, 2013 at 02:51 AM
Here we go again Oh the oor Children !!!!! 4.2 Millon $$$$$$$ Here 15.0 Millon $$$$$$$$$ Riverfiled 100,000 $$$$ to even out the prescholl population busing to Dwight 5.7 millon $$$$ to rebuild the NEW Penfield Pavilon(it's a stupid man who builds his house upon the sand. How Much for the "Flatto" rail Station??????? NO WONDER KENNY FLATTO moved to Bridgeport !!!!!!! How about getting real in this Town, How about some real Tx paying Industrial property like we USED TO HAVE ?? Oh must have ben the PCB's that drove it out of Town. Have A Great Day (and Just Pay and Pay ) your taxes
Osborn Hiller January 08, 2013 at 03:10 AM
Well, the new pavilion was pushed by the real estate agents in this town looking to impress clients. The process for the new train station began years before my kids were even born. I'm sorry to those that feel the town is being irresponsible with it's money, but fixing Osborn Hill needs to get done, period, and I'm sure that there's more to it than wrapping the gym with saran wrap.
Roger Sherman January 08, 2013 at 03:24 AM
Politicians steal because my dozen accountant neighbors refuse to look our town paperwork (Board of Finance, Fiscal Costs, etc) and help the rest of us fix it. Personally, I'd rather let the politicians steal if it is between that or my fellow community member avoiding to help me using their talents and means. Face it, we did this to ourselves.
Sean O'Donnell January 08, 2013 at 12:43 PM
Ponzi Democracy = What's in it for me.
Sean O'Donnell January 10, 2013 at 02:37 PM
Caitlin, Thank you.


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