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.
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 continued with the demolition of the existing
school and the Renovate-as-New school design was completed in
December 2019 with construction and occupancy 19 months later
in August of 2021.
The state 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.