Mansfield Middle School's gym to reopen next week

At the Mansfield Board of Education meeting Thursday night, it was announced that the Mansfield Middle School gym will reopen next week, after undergoing renovations this past summer.

According to a referendum explanatory text, the renovation upgraded the gyms floors, bleachers, score boards and gym dividers.

(http://www.mansfieldct.gov/filestorage/1904/5441/20161108_explanatory_text.pdf)

The construction on the 50-year-old gym floors began this past summer and was completed for the start of the 2017-2018 school year without any issues, according to Superintendent of Mansfield schools Kelly Lyman.

“Every step went smoothly and was on time,” Lyman said.

The locker rooms, renovated separately by a different contractor, will be open in the next three or four months, according to Lyman.

The overall cost of the renovation was $873,000. Mansfield voters approved a referendum on Nov. 8, 2016, to put these funds toward the gym’s renovation after the Board of Education decided it would be more cost effective to replace the gym, as opposed to continuing to spend money on repairs.

(http://dailycampus.com/stories/2016/10/28/mansfield-to-hold-referendum-on-870000-school-gym-renovation)

“Both our architect and contractor worked hard with us to keep costs down,” Lyman said.

The contractor for this project was Sarazin General Contractors and the architect was Silver/ Petrucelli + Associates, Lyman said.

The cost of this project was paid for through bonds issued by an investor agency, town council member Ben Shaiken said last November. The Town of Mansfield will pay back this agency with interest over a period of 10 to 20 years.

Shaiken said he thinks Mansfield’s low debt portfolio puts it in a good position to offer a lower interest rate than other towns might be able to, meaning that the effect on the people of Mansfield's taxes will be minimal.

According to Shaiken, this low debt profile is caused by a pay-as-you-go system implemented by the town about 10 years ago. This system lets the town set aside money in a savings account to be used for the town’s needs.

“With that kind of stuff we usually just pay cash up front and we save taxpayers by doing that because there’s no interest, and that’s unique among towns,” Shaiken said.


Molly Desrochers is a Campus Correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at molly.desrochers@uconn.edu.