Mayor Nancy R. Rossi cuts the ceremonial ribbon Tuesday with, from left, City Council Minority Leader Richard DePalma, R-at large, Superintendent of Schools Neil C. Cavallaro, Principal Dana Paredes, paraprofessional Patricia C. Horvath and Tax Collector Dorothy Chambrelli to mark the first day of school at West Haven High School and welcome the approximately 1,600 students to the 2019-20 school year. (Josh Labella/West Haven Voice via City of West Haven)
Rossi welcomes students at West Haven High School
WEST HAVEN, Aug. 27, 2019 — Mayor Nancy R. Rossi cut the ceremonial ribbon Tuesday with Superintendent of Schools Neil C. Cavallaro and Principal Dana Paredes to mark the first day of school at West Haven High School and welcome the approximately 1,600 students to the 2019-20 school year.
After greeting students, teachers, faculty and staff, Rossi toured West Haven High’s newly completed addition, which is part of the Circle Street school’s $130 million reconstruction.
Designed by Antinozzi Associates of Bridgeport to accommodate 1,598 students, plans for the reconstructed high school also include renovating the existing building. The total finished project has an area of 265,959 square feet, according to Kenneth Carney, chairman of the West Haven High School Building Committee.
Carney said the completed school will offer a cutting-edge media center and advanced STEM classrooms and laboratories for science, technology, engineering and math, as well as upgraded public areas for the school and community. The fully air-conditioned building will have lower maintenance and operating costs while also offering enhanced access and security, he said.
Carney said the project’s construction phase, also known as Phase III, is composed of three major “subphases” to allow the school to offer a full academic curriculum throughout the project.
Gilbane Building Co. of Glastonbury is the project’s construction manager, with Amar Shamas serving as the project executive. The Capitol Region Education Council of Hartford, or CREC, is overseeing the construction financing.
Carney said the construction phase, which began in April 2018, is expected to take about three years to complete, with a projected occupancy of new spaces in fall 2019 through 2021. Site restoration work is expected to continue until spring 2022, he said.
Carney confirmed the project is on schedule and on budget.
The project’s first subphase includes constructing the food services, building services, tech-ed shops, media center, auditorium, music and arts classrooms, and administrative offices to permit the transferal of building uses, thereby opening other parts of the existing building for renovation or demolition.
The second subphase calls for renovating the existing eastern three-story building after demolishing the existing cafeteria and media center.
The third subphase includes demolishing the existing auditorium and music spaces, renovating the northern wing of academic spaces, and demolishing the existing gym and southern academic building.
Bulk trash pickup is Sept. 9-13; e-waste drop-off is Sept. 14
WEST HAVEN, Aug. 27, 2019 — The final bulk trash pickup week of 2019 is Sept. 9-13.
Residents are reminded to separate metals, recyclables and regular trash from bulk trash and put them out no more than 24 hours before pickup. Violations carry a $100 fine per daily offense, Public Works Commissioner Tom McCarthy said.
Residents are also reminded to “Put a Lid on It!” and use lids on all trash cans. Rain-soaked trash costs West Haven 10 times more at the dump, said McCarthy, adding that using trash can lids will save the city money by reducing the weight of trash and cost of tipping fees.
Bulk items include couches, chairs, tables, carpeting, padding, fencing and small amounts of bundled lumber, which may not exceed 6 feet in length. No building materials, tires, mattresses, propane tanks or hazardous waste are accepted.
Options for disposing of building materials include renting a dumpster or bringing the materials to a disposal facility for a fee.
Tires can be brought to Town Fair Tire, 63 Boston Post Road, Orange, for a fee of $2.75 per tire.
Mattresses can be disposed of for free in a container at the city’s highway maintenance garage, 1 Collis St. Mattresses must be dry.
Hazardous waste can be dropped off for free at HazWaste Central, 90 Sargent Drive, New Haven. HazWaste is open Saturday mornings through October.
Propane tanks can be brought to Taylor Rental, 304 Boston Post Road, Orange, for a fee of $10 per tank.
The amount of bulk trash per collection is limited to 6 cubic yards, which is equal to a pile of trash about 6 feet long, 6 feet wide and 4 ½ feet high.
Homeowners are required to rent a dumpster or hire a junk removal service at their expense if trash exceeds 6 cubic yards. Otherwise, trash exceeding 6 cubic yards will be left at the curb, and a $100 fine per daily offense will be imposed, McCarthy said.
To prevent a potential fine, property owners should familiarize themselves with the city’s trash guidelines at Public Works.
Bulk trash must be generated by the customer at the residential unit where it is collected. Trash will not be collected if it is generated by anyone other than the resident of the home.
Bulk items must be separated and orderly. Do not place them next to a mailbox or utility pole or close to a fence, McCarthy said.
Also, do not place bulk items in front of a vacant lot or home — they will not be collected, he said.
Details at Bulk Trash Pickup.
In addition to bulk trash, the city picks up metals, including household appliances, also known as white goods, and toilets. To schedule a pickup on their curbside collection day, residents must call the Highway Department at 203-937-3644 or 203-937-3585. Appliance doors must be removed.
The city also picks up grass bags until Nov. 22 and leaf bags from Oct. 1-Dec. 31 on residents’ weekly collection days, along with brush that is cut into 3-to-6-foot lengths and tied in small bundles, no more than 70 pounds. Logs and stumps are prohibited.
Grass clippings and leaves must be in separate biodegradable paper bags and will not be accepted if they are in plastic bags.
Residents can bring grass clippings as well as bagged leaves and untied brush to the compost site, 1 Kimberly Ave., from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays. The first cubic yard of compost is free with proof of residence. Additional compost costs $25 per cubic yard. Residents must bring their own buckets and shovels.
For a $50 fee, the Department of Public Works will deliver up to 2 cubic yards of compost to city homes.
For electronic items, including TVs, the next drop-off day for e-waste is Sept. 14.
Residents can drop off electronic recyclables — typically anything that contains a circuit board or needs a battery — from 8 a.m.-noon at the highway maintenance garage.
Anything that has refrigerant, including air conditioners and dehumidifiers, is not accepted. Those items are considered white goods, and residents are asked to schedule a pickup on their curbside collection day by calling the Highway Department.
The e-waste drop-off is free for residents who have such items as TVs, hand-held video games, computers, monitors, copiers, scanners, microwaves, toaster ovens and other small appliances.
Details at E-waste Drop-off.
For the latest news and information, subscribe to the city’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CityofWestHaven.
Artists, volunteers, sponsors sought for visual arts fest
WEST HAVEN, Aug. 27, 2019 — Interested in connecting with the arts?
City-Wide Open Studios, a monthlong festival of visual arts, is returning to Greater New Haven, including a weekend event in West Haven.
Organizers are seeking artists, volunteers and sponsors to participate in the festival, in its 22nd year, from Oct. 4-Nov. 3.
Artists have until Sunday to register for the festival, which is open to all state residents and presented by Artspace, the nerve center of New Haven’s contemporary arts scene.
Artists across all media can choose from three weekends in October and November to share their work and creative process with an arts-friendly community. Organizers will consider all artists for curator visits. For information, go to https://artspacenewhaven.org/cwos-home/.
Those looking to volunteer, including high school students needing community service hours, can sign up at https://artspacenewhaven.org/cwos-home/volunteer-for-cwos/.
Area businesses are invited to celebrate the creative talent that helps the business community thrive by supporting City-Wide Open Studios. This year’s festival theme, “Older but Younger,” explores society’s changing attitudes about aging and longevity.
Program ads are accepted until mid-September at https://artspacenewhaven.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/AS-29_SponsorshipDeck_R2.pdf. Business card sizes are available by contacting Elinor Slomba, executive producer of CWOS, at email@example.com.
For the second year, CWOS will hold its Alternative Space Weekend from noon-6 p.m. Nov. 2-3 at Yale University’s West Campus in West Haven.
The special weekend event sets CWOS apart from other open studio weekends by offering artists from across Connecticut — and those interested in creating site-specific works — a unique backdrop to showcase their talents.
Learn more about Alternative Space Weekend at https://artspacenewhaven.org/cwos/.
An aerial rendering from the state Department of Transportation showing the soon-to-be upgraded Oyster River roundabout at Jones Hill Road and Ocean Avenue in the city’s Baybrook section. (CTDOT)
Roundabout upgrade slated for Jones Hill Rd., Ocean Ave.
WEST HAVEN, Aug. 23, 2019 — The state Department of Transportation’s Office of Engineering is developing plans to improve the Oyster River roundabout at routes 162 and 705 in the city’s Baybrook section.
The $325,000 project aims to upgrade the existing roundabout, or traffic circle, at Jones Hill Road and Ocean Avenue to current design standards for accommodating larger trucks, said the project manager, Scott Bushee, a principal engineer with the DOT’s Division of Highway Design.
Bushee explained that during the roundabout’s original design, a midsize tractor-trailer was the standard design vehicle for state arterial roads. But shortly after the roundabout’s construction more than a decade ago, national changes in the trucking industry prompted the DOT to change its regulations and increase the size of the standard design vehicle on state arterial roads because of technical advances in the industry and gradual acceptance of larger trucks by many states, he said.
“The larger trucks with longer trailers need more room to turn, resulting in off-tracking in the center island of the roundabout and damage to the outside curbing where drivers are trying to maximize available room to make their turn,” Bushee said.
According to the DOT, preliminary plans for the upgraded roundabout call for “expanding the truck apron 8.5 feet to the interior, replacing the outer concrete curbing with granite, constructing a hardscape concrete surface with a brick paver appearance within the former planter areas between the outer curb and the sidewalk, and repaving the roundabout.”
“The roundabout has required constant maintenance in recent years and will be upgraded with more durable materials,” said Bushee, adding that no private properties are affected in the plans.
Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, who recently met with state and city officials about the roundabout, thanked state Rep. Charles J. Ferraro, R-West Haven, for helping to fast-track the state-funded project.
The DOT anticipates completing the design phase in December and starting the construction phase in summer 2020, which Bushee said should take about six to eight weeks.
No detours are planned during the work, said Bushee, who will give a PowerPoint presentation on the project at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 23 at City Hall, 355 Main St. The public is invited.
Before the roundabout, the busy intersection was stop-controlled on Jones Hill Road with free flow on Ocean Avenue. Vehicles turning left onto Jones Hill Road caused traffic to back up on Ocean Avenue while waiting for a safe gap in oncoming traffic to execute their turn, according to information provided by the DOT.
“The resulting traffic congestion contributed to rear-end crashes on Ocean Avenue and angle crashes within the intersection,” the DOT said.
To improve safety and relieve traffic congestion, the first modern roundabout built on a state road was constructed there in 2007, reducing the total crash rate by 45% and injury-related crashes by 60%, according to statistics provided by the DOT.
Anyone interested in receiving information about “State Project No. 156-182” can contact Matthew Vail, transportation principal engineer with the DOT’s Bureau of Engineering and Construction, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-594-3274.
City applying for Justice Assistance Grant to aid Police Department
WEST HAVEN, Aug. 23, 2019 — The city is applying for funding under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program for the purchase of equipment for the Police Department.
The goal of the project is to maintain the challenges of emerging technological improvements and their impact on the community.
The requested funding from the 2019 JAG program will buy software to upgrade the Police Department’s computer-aided dispatch system. The upgrade will allow the CAD system to continuously have high availability with connectivity when routine maintenance and/or repairs are conducted.
The improvement will enhance the responsiveness of West Haven’s public safety personnel, including police, fire and 911 dispatch, as well as University of New Haven police.
City’s first rain garden installed at Pagels School
WEST HAVEN, Aug. 21, 2019 — The city’s first rain garden has been installed at Pagels Elementary School.
The 270-square-foot garden, constructed just off the school bus drop-off and pickup lane by Benham Hill Road, can treat more than 40,000 gallons of stormwater per year.
The project is the result of a collaboration with the UConn Center for Land Use Education and Research, which analyzed and reported on several potential sites in West Haven for tackling stormwater runoff reduction last year.
CLEAR, based in Haddam, provides information, education and assistance to land use decision-makers in support of balancing growth and natural resource protection.
Stormwater management is necessary to reduce flooding and protect bodies of water from pollutants that collect on roads, parking lots and driveways and flow into storm sewers.
Rain gardens are designed to collect runoff and allow the water to percolate through soil before finding its way to rivers and Long Island Sound. Typically, they are planted with native perennials that also function as carbon sinks — natural reservoirs that store carbon-containing chemical compounds accumulated over time — and provide habitat for wildlife, including birds and butterflies.
Rain gardens also require less maintenance and virtually no inputs, such as fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides — all of which contaminate the runoff instead of purifying it.
(City Photo/Robin D. Parsons)
Storm drain stenciling effort underway
WEST HAVEN, Aug. 21, 2019 — Resident Stacey Giaquinto participates in the city’s new Storm Drain Marking Project on Aug. 18 at Campbell Avenue and Leete Street.
The project, which began a day earlier with a workshop offered by the Sustainable West Haven team, aims to build awareness of the connection between what we put onto our yards, driveways and streets and what ends up in the water we use for recreation and as an environmental asset.
Everything that goes into a city storm drain empties into a stream, river or Long Island Sound. Project organizers hope that stenciling the drains in high-traffic areas will help educate people.
Individuals, families, clubs and neighborhood groups are asked to consider participating in the project. With 5,000 storm drains, West Haven has many opportunities to take part in the effort.
Contact organizers for details about the project via the sign-up sheet at http://bit.ly/stormdrainmarkingprojectsignup.
Barr named West Haven’s first troubadour
WEST HAVEN, Aug. 19, 2019 — William “Railroad Bill” Barr, with his wife, Nancy, left, receives a citation from Mayor Nancy R. Rossi for being appointed the honorary position of troubadour of West Haven during a ceremony Aug. 19 at City Hall.
Reading the citation, Rossi said, “I join the great people of our city in admiring your passion for music, the arts and literacy … and congratulate you on your appointment as the official city troubadour.”
As West Haven’s first troubadour, Barr, a lifelong resident who lives on Court Street with his wife of 46 years, aims to foster cultural literacy through music. A prolific guitarist and singer, he has entertained audiences for decades across Connecticut and New England, including once serenading the Kennedy family at a reunion on Cape Cod.
Barr is also renowned in the world of square dancing, having called about 9,000 events since the 1980s.
(City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)
Farmers market open Thursdays, Saturdays on West Haven Green
WEST HAVEN, July 11, 2019 — The Tony Inzero Farmers Market is open for its 20th season on the Green.
Through Oct. 26, the market at Main Street and Campbell Avenue features state farmers selling homegrown fruits and vegetables from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursdays and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays.
It also includes crafters selling their wares.