By Brenda Maguire
NEW BRITAIN — A renovation effort that began five years ago at the Ben Franklin Childcare Academy can finally be concluded now that the State Bond Commission has OK’d a $375,000 financing package.
The commission approved the financing for the Human Resources Agency of New Britain, which operates the academy.
The renovations started in 2006 with the addition of 22 classrooms. But money ran dry and the work, which included implementing a variety of programs, stopped short.
“(The commission funding) was very important because it was the final funding we needed to complete renovations,” said Rocco Tricarico, executive director of HRA.
Tricarico said about half of the renovations will be outdoors. These include regrading and resurfacing the parking lot, landscaping and site drainage improvements.
The academy, at 180 Clinton St., also will be building a canopy over the walkway where the children are picked up and dropped off.
“It’s a long walkway that is basically exposed and the children are exposed to the weather,” Tricarico said.
The security systems inside the building will be upgraded with new cameras and IT/security wiring and cabling. The academy also will get a new boiler and have the heating and cooling systems rebalanced.
Tricarico said there are times when students in one classroom are shivering while in another they are sweating.
“I’m very grateful to the New Britain (legislative) delegation for pushing this through to get funding for this project,” Tricarico said.
For more information on the Human Resources Agency, visit http://www.hranbct.org or call (860) 225-8601.