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