State officials recently informed the Town of Berlin that state funding for the renovation and expansion of Berlin High School has been approved and will be released as construction moves forward.
The state will contribute $32,974,430 toward the $69.95 million cost of the school work - a 47.14 percent reimbursement rate, and a $37 million savings to Berlin taxpayers.
In March 2011, about half the registered voters in Berlin turned out to approve the school building referendum, with nearly two-thirds voting in favor.
"The money coming in from the state for the project and the reimbursement rate were right where we expected them to be which is good," Berlin Superintendent of Schools David B. Erwin said. "When the initial proposal went over the allotted square footage, we plunged a little bit, into the mid 30's in reimbursement. Now that we are working within the allotted square footage it popped up a bit and is more favorable."
Erwin said that another major hurdle was crossed on Monday.
We received a letter from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to tell us that we were cleared to begin work on the remediation of any hazardous materials like PCBs," Erwin said. "It's a big hurdle for us because the EPA is always so busy. So to get that letter was a big step forward for the project.
"We are still tweaking things. We have another meeting coming up and we're working on what will be the final plan for the Physical Education and Health rooms. But, we're headed in the right direction. We're hoping that there can be some work done before the summer ends and students return to school."