The situation at Birch Grove began when the Board of Education noticed cracks in the concrete. The district hired an engineering firm to test the concrete and a report delivered to town leaders said the school foundation had substantial cracking from the presence of pyrrhotite in the concrete and should not be occupied in the coming school year. The town then retained the services of JCJ Architecture to renovate the 500-student PreK-2 Primary School.
This is the first school project of its kind in the state of Connecticut addressing crumbling foundations, and the JCJ team reacted quickly to collaborate with both the Town of Tolland and OSCG&R to achieve a fast and successful referendum this past May.
The team designed a replacement modular school along with site circulation and amenities on the same site as the existing Birch Grove School. The effort continues with the demolition of the existing school and the Renovate-as-New school design to be completed in December 2019 with construction and occupancy 19 months later in August of 2021.
The state has agreed to pay 89 percent of the cost to rebuild Tolland’s Birch Grove Primary School after it was discovered the building had a crumbling foundation.