First day back at FRES

WILTON – Despite new traffic patterns, new drop-off locations, new entrances to the school, and the entire back of the buildings in various stages of construction, opening day Thursday went smoothly at Florence Rideout Elementary School.

School Board member Harry Dailey, watching from the sidelines, was pleased, considering all of the planning that had gone into the opening.

“Sometimes what looks good on paper doesn’t work when you try it on the ground,” he said.

Police Chief Brent Hautanen, overseeing the buses on Tremont Street, also was relieved at how well the opening went. He said he had received only one complaint.

There are a lot of temporary changes inside the 1895 building. There is a new connection with the end of the 1950s wing, the original door to the old school is again open, and the principal has an office at the top of the stairway, created from a corner of the central hall.

In the basement, the former industrial arts area, janitors rooms and storage have been refurbished. A long hallway between the arts and music rooms is now the library.

The new elementary school, being constructed between the 1895 building and the gym, is scheduled to open and be occupied during February vacation week. At that time, the 1950s wing will be demolished and renovations at Lyndeborough Central School will be completed.

The new combined classes, grades one through five, will be at the new school, while kindergarten and pre-school will be in renovated rooms at the Central School.