Hinsdale School in Winsted.
Hinsdale School in Winsted.

WINSTED — The school district has been cleared to go forward with its long-planned project to re-open the Hinsdale Elementary School building, according to Superintendent of Schools Melony Brady-Shanley.
Brady-Shanley gave an update on the project during the Board of Education’s regular meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 12.
Originally, residents approved funding to reopen and renovate Hinsdale back in September 2019 at a special referendum.
The cost of the project was set at $17,425,000, with the town paying an estimated $10,465,075, and the state paying $6,959,925 in grants.
However, last year Brady-Shanley said that the state’s reimbursement rate for the project went up by 1.79 percent, which means that the state will cover $12,509,408 of the project’s funding.
The project has been in a holding pattern for more than a year because the town was waiting to hear from the state’s Bond Commission for funding approval.
At the Jan. 12 meeting, Brady-Shanley said she met with several state officials about the project.
“Previously, there was some direction by several people in the community that there was an interpretation that Bond Commission needed to approve the project,” Brady-Shanley said. “That is not part of the process when it comes to priority projects. Hinsdale has already been legislatively approved. We have the documentation to prove that.”
Brady-Shanley said that the district is now in the position to submit its first bills of reimbursement to the state.
“We are cleared to spend money at this point and we are cleared for reimbursement,” she said. “There was a misinterpretation of what the Bond Commission was doing. The commission gives the money to DAS [the Department of Administrative Services]. That has absolutely nothing to do with the school system whatsoever. We do not go through the Bond Commission. The DAS does, and they give money to us.”
Brady-Shanley said she is planning a meeting of the Hinsdale Renovation Committee next week.
“We should, at that point, have clearance on all of our architectural paperwork, and the project should be signed off by the state by the end of the week,” she said. “We should also be cleared for bidding and also for construction person to be a partner with us to oversee the project. We’re ready to move on.”