May 14, 2012

On the final day of the 2012 legislative session, Fairfield’s four-member state legislative delegation consisting of Senator John McKinney (R-28) and representatives Kim Fawcett (D-133), Brenda Kupchick (R-132) and Tony Hwang (R-134) successfully secured language in an education construction bill that will help save as much as $5 million for Fairfield property taxpayers for the upcoming Warde High School roof replacement project.

“We were briefed about the Warde project costs last winter and decided to work on a legislative fix from several different angles,” the Fairfield delegation said in a statement. “We were able to draft an amendment to a school construction bill that allowed a special exception for a roof being replaced. The result is we were able to shave off about $5 million in additional construction costs for the Warde roof project.”

The lawmakers explained that state environmental and clean air quality regulations require roof replacement projects to make adjustments in the pitch of the roof to assure proper water runoff. When contractors began to price the Warde project they determined that complying with the pitch requirement for this particular building would add about $5 million in costs without any guarantee of additional protection from water damage. An exception was in order.

“The original intent of the law was to cover new construction, not replacement projects,” the Fairfield delegation continued, “so there was a good reason for us to seek the changes we needed.” The roof is slated to be replaced in sections with the first phase beginning this summer.

In 2010, Fairfield public school administrators approached Rep. Kupchick about the leaks in the Warde school’s roof. Kupchick was central in shepherding the legislation through the committee process, and the whole Fairfield delegation joined the effort to urge the legislature to act this week and ensure its passage.

First Selectman Mike Tetreau said, “On behalf of the town, I am very grateful to our Fairfield state delegation for all of their efforts in helping the town qualify for state reimbursement for the Fairfield Warde High School roof replacement project. This positive news is a much-welcomed benefit for Fairfield taxpayers.”