Workers taped and covered with plastic all the windows of Danbury High School's D Building by Friday, and other workers started removing the windows. School let out for the summer holidays on Wednesday, and workers arrived on Thursday.
The work is designed to replace old (some 40 years old-plus) windows with more energy efficient windows. At the same time, the work is removing caulk around the windows that may contain asbestos. As windows are removed from the building, each is wrapped in plastic with its caulk for safe disposal.
"It's a major undertaking," said Thomas Hughes, Danbury's superintendent of construction services in the Public Works Department. "The window guys are right behind the men removing the windows."
Inside the classrooms, each window is sealed with plastic. A goal is to make sure any dust created from removing the windows stays out of the school. Because some of the caulk may contain asbestos, the goal is designed to keep students and staff safe.
Antonio Iadarola, public works director, said the asbestos is not "friable," meaning it isn't flacking off and creating its own dust. Asbestos is a health hazard when it becomes airborne and can be ingested or breathed. This project will remove the asbestos before it becomes a bigger hazard. Oscar's Abatement Co. out of Hartford is handling this work.
"The school will be triple checked when the work is finished in August," said Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton.
The only windows not being replaced are those newer windows that were added during renovations to the high school, including new windows on the science building and new windows to an addition to D building.
The building will be fenced in by Monday and Hughes said it will be off limits to anyone under age 18.
Work started on D building's eastern side, the side next to the football, soccer, track and tennis courts. Hughes said that work started first so when it will be long done by the time students and teams start practicing toward the beginning of school in August.