Thursday, October 28, 2021

Local News

New Morgan School Construction Enters Final Phase in Clinton

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FIP Construction’s Phil Rees points out an area that will be landscaped for amphitheater-style seating outdoors.

FIP Construction’s Phil Rees points out an area that will be landscaped for amphitheater-style seating outdoors. (Photo by Lesia Winiarskyj/Harbor News)

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Morgan Building Committee Chair Gerald Vece and Clinton’s newly hired police chief, Vincent DeMaio, gathered with nearly 50 other community members for a March 1 tour of the new Morgan School. Tours are held the first Tuesday of every month.

Morgan Building Committee Chair Gerald Vece and Clinton’s newly hired police chief, Vincent DeMaio, gathered with nearly 50 other community members for a March 1 tour of the new Morgan School. Tours are held the first Tuesday of every month. Morgan Building Committee Chair Gerald Vece and Clinton’s newly hired police chief, Vincent DeMaio, gathered with nearly 50 other community members for a March 1 tour of the new Morgan School. Tours are held the first Tuesday of every month.

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In the junior and senior academy wing of the new Morgan School, visitors check out the hot and cold water piping, electrical work, and ductwork before ceilings are installed.

In the junior and senior academy wing of the new Morgan School, visitors check out the hot and cold water piping, electrical work, and ductwork before ceilings are installed. In the junior and senior academy wing of the new Morgan School, visitors check out the hot and cold water piping, electrical work, and ductwork before ceilings are installed.

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Future Morgan students stand in the balcony section of the new school’s auditorium.

Future Morgan students stand in the balcony section of the new school’s auditorium. Future Morgan students stand in the balcony section of the new school’s auditorium.

Work on the new Morgan School is about 80 percent complete, according to Joseph Crouse, project manager and owner’s representative for Clinton’s new high school. Crouse owns PMG, a Middletown-based company specializing in managing school design and construction projects.

“All foundations, the steel superstructure, exterior masonry, and framing are 100 percent done,” he said. “Mechanical, plumbing, fire protection, and electrical rough installations are 95 percent complete, and we’re about 90 percent done with the drywall.”

Crews are in the process of installing ceilings, lights, and flooring throughout the 140,000-square-foot building.

“We’re planning on hitting the site pretty hard in the next few weeks and months,” said Crouse, noting that the focus this spring will be on landscaping the grounds as well as painting and putting the finishing touches on the building’s interior.

“We are all so proud of what we have accomplished so far,” said Morgan Building Committee Chair Gerald Vece. “We are on time and on budget.”

The building is scheduled to be completed on June 17, said project manager Phil Rees of FIP Construction, which leaves the summer months for installing technology and furniture. In many cases, Rees said, schools have a matter of weeks or days to set up their technology and furnishings.

“One school had to relocate in a week’s time, over April break,” Rees said. “Morgan is in a much better position for their move.”

Situated approximately half a mile north of the current campus on Route 81, the new building has a smaller footprint, a decision based on declining enrollment. Morgan’s existing school building is 169,000 square feet.

Features of the new facility include a gathering place—called the hub—near the school’s 210-seat open food-court-style cafeteria, second- and third-story classrooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, rooms designed for collaborative teaching, and a bank of interior windows overlooking the gymnasium below. The new school’s auditorium, which has a slightly smaller seating capacity (696 seats, as opposed to the current 750), includes a 180-seat balcony.

“It’s really amazing,” said Superintendent of Schools Jack Cross, commenting on the new campus during a site walk last week.

Tours of the new Morgan School, held the first Tuesday of each month and lasting approximately an hour, are open to the public. Nearly 50 visitors attended the most recent site tour on March 1. In addition to Cross, Morgan Principal Keri Hagness, and other school administrators, the group included teachers, members of the community and the Board of Education, and current and future Morgan students and parents. Also getting a first look at the new facility was Clinton’s newly hired police chief, Vincent DeMaio, whose official start date is April 4.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony at The Morgan School is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 28. The first day of school is Aug. 30.




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