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Wellington Receives Narrow OK to Open Sept. 7

Wellington Building Committee votes 4-3 to move to meet scheduled first day of school. Final vote by School Committee tonight.

After a two-hour meeting with town officials, construction teams and the architect Tuesday night, the Wellington School Building Committee voted by the narrowest of margins to go forward with the opening of the $40 million school on Sept. 7, the first day of school.

In the 4-3 vote, with School Committee Chairwoman Laurie Graham abstaining, the majority believe the school has reached a level of significant substantial completion to move forward.

The Building Committee's recommendation now goes to the, who meets tonight, Wednesday, Aug. 10, for a final vote whether to accept the recommendation. 

Patricia Brusch, the committee's vice-chairwoman, said that even if the Building Committee had voted to delay the opening for a month, the scheduled town review to sign off on a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy will still take place next Friday, Aug. 19.

Brusch said that when the certificate is signed by the town's building inspector, "we own it." 

While certain aspects of the construction will still not be completed, such as the roof screening, only "life/safety" or building code issues will halt the expected opening, said Brusch.

Currently, teachers are expected to begin moving in on Aug. 22. 

Brusch said it would be better that the town occupies the building earlier than later as it can then insure the building under the town's umbrella policy. 

Wellington Principal Amy Wagner said one issue that could cause a bit of trouble is the current strike by Verizon employees. While the wiring has been installed, the FIOS system needs to be connected to the network. 

The new Wellington occupies 84,000 square feet housing 575 students from kindergarten to fourth grade with five classrooms per grade, plus special-needs space.

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