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Crumbling foundations found in Tolland municipal school building

TOLLAND — Jeffery McCoutcheon has two daughters enrolled at Birch Grove Primary School in Tolland. He’s not worried about their safety rather, he...

TOLLAND -- Jeffery McCoutcheon has two daughters enrolled at Birch Grove Primary School in Tolland. He's not worried about their safety rather, he's concerned about something else.

"It's a very nice building. From the inside they've done a nice job keeping it up. I would hate to see the school have to shutter before its useful live ends," he says.

The building's foundation is showing signs of deterioration. It's an issue that's been haunting thousands of Connecticut homes. It's a reality that could place students in unfavorable situations.

The Tolland Board of Education met Wednesday night to discuss what they've done to get ahead of the issue. They've hired engineers to take a core sample of the building's foundation. Initial reports show degradation which will force the school to take proactive steps such as halting bond work on the building's roof and boiler room. Engineers say the building is still safe for at least another five years. It's a reality that forces the Board to contemplate the future of the school.

Tolland Superintendent Dr. Walter Willett says shutting the school down or adding a wing on one of the other schools in town are possibilities.

He says a few funding options will be looked at when the time comes.

"We're going to be looking at the state," says Dr. Willett. "we're going to be looking to various entities like insurance companies to help us get through it."

It's still early but the problem will only get worse. as for now the school board wants to reassure parents and community members.

"Bottom line, the children are safe the building is safe to use and we'll work this out in the next few years," says Dr. Willett.

McCoutcheon on the other hand is hoping the engineers come back with a final report that will make everyone satisfied."

"Best case scenario, they find a way to shore up the school and let it live past its expected life span of five years and we can continue to go on business as usual," says McCoutcheon.

The process is still at the beginning stages. It will involve input from The board of Education, the town council, citizens and engineers to ultimately decide the fate of the building.