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CREC: Reggio Construction Likely to Begin in June

In the meantime, the temporary site will open for the next school year.

The Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) is planning on breaking ground on its new location in June.

The school, which will eventually house up to 450 pre-kindergarten to fifth grade students, will reside on the site at 59 Waterville Rd.

"Everybody at CREC, all of the parents involved in the school and many residents of Avon are excited about it," CREC Executive Director Bruce Douglas said Monday.

Before CREC can start constuction, the council needs to, the owner, and obtain a building permit from the town.

"They have to submit plans [for a building permit] at least two weeks in advance of that," Avon Town Planner Steven Kushner said.

CREC will also between Route 10 and the end of its future property line, renovating it to meet town road standards. West Hartford resident .

Questions about who is responsible for its maintenance have long arisen. Donald Walsh, deputy executive director of CREC finance and operations, said. It turns out the users are, so CREC has informally discussed cost-sharing with its neighbors for pothole repairs, snowplowing and other maintenance tasks.

"We think we're the best thing that could happen to Avonwood Road because we're not going to allow a substandard road to service our school," Walsh said.

Two weeks ago, the State Traffic Commission also approved CREC's application to put in a at the Avonwood and Route 10 intersection.

The Connecticut Department of Education has given CREC a $30,069,500 construction grant for the project, which will cover everything, Walsh said.

CREC opened Reggio Magnet School of the Arts at 50 Fisher Dr. in Avon in 2008, Walsh said, but due to a growing student population, the council opened a second location in Simsbury at 125 Latimer Dr. The student body is still growing.

There are currently 178 kindergarten-to-third-grade students at the Fisher Drive site, as well 99 pre-K students at the Simsbury location.

"There's not enough space in either location to add additional students," Douglas said.

Until the new facility opens, CREC plans to move Reggio students from both locations into a in Avon this August. The property is owned by Mark Greenberg, of Litchfield, who is running for U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy's fifth district spot. The temporary school site will include pre-kindergarten to fourth grade classes, Douglas said.

CREC will be leasing the 51,000 square feet of the 100,000-square-foot building from Mark Greenberg, Walsh said. Preparing the space for a school will require minor renovations to bring it up to code, such as adding partitions for classrooms. The parking garage on the property will not be used for parking, Walsh said, and CREC plans to reconfigure the parking lot slightly to mitigate traffic flow of buses and parents dropping kids off.

If all goes as planned, the new school will open in September 2013.

tara marshall April 03, 2012 at 12:37 PM
I simply can't wait! I believe the light will be excellent, however, having a right turn lane for traffic coming from rt 44 and having a left turn lane for vehicles coming down rt 10 should be considered for better traffic smoothing. Also, sidewalks would be a great idea.
Jessie Sawyer (Editor) April 03, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Thank you for sharing your ideas, Tara! What do other people think about the magnet school project? What are your hopes? Do you have any questions? Jessie Sawyer Editor, Avon Patch
J.p. Parent August 01, 2012 at 01:10 AM
I live on Avonwood Rd. I'm a little (alot) concerned about how the residents in Avon Place & Avon Mill will get out to get to work in the morning with all the additional traffic to & from the school each morning also @ rush hour. It's already a hassle to get out onto Waterville Rd. I envision a 1/3 mile line of cars to get through Avonwood Rd to the proposed traffic light & already busy Waterville Rd. Just doesn't make sense to me how that end of the road is going to accomodate that many cars during AM rush hour. Maybe I'm missing something.
Jessie Sawyer (Editor) August 01, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Thanks for the comment! Yes, it will be interesting to see how it affects the traffic flow. Do you think a light will help with the left-hand turn onto Waterville?
Stacy August 28, 2012 at 01:17 PM
I think a blinking light would help and only have it run like a normal traffic light during the morning rush and evening rush and leave it blinking during the day and weekends. I hope the school plans on making a big enough driveway and drop off site within their property so these busses and parents aren't going down Avonwood Road, since the school is on Waterville Road. The construction should keep that in mind.

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