Stamford finance board stunned schools refused grant try

STAMFORD — The Stamford Board of Finance chair was flabbergasted to learn this week that a project to replace science labs at Stamford High School wouldn’t use a state grants to help pay for it because officials wanted the work done right after school ends for the year and there wasn’t enough time to apply for it.

Board chairman Richard Freedman did the math. The city could get roughly $1.5 million of the project funded through the state.

“And we’re going to just forfeit that because we want to do it this summer?” he asked.

School officials were before the finance board Thursday for a number of items, including approval of a $305,500 contract to Antinozzi Associates for the Stamford High project. The project is estimated to cost about $5.5 million to complete.

The school capital budget has about $2.3 million earmarked for the work, said city engineer Lou Casolo, with a $3.2 million request to city boards coming in the future. The work is part of the school district’s ambitious 20-year longterm facilities plan that would cost the city roughly $742 million.

Board member Mary Lou Rinaldi asked if any of the project would be reimbursable through a state grant. Stamford recently was the beneficiary of a General Assembly budgetary bill that included provisions to increase the reimbursement share the city receives for school construction projects. One provision…

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