The Board of Finance has postponed for two weeks its vote on the plan to spend $52 million renovating East Hampton High School.
The board was supposed to meet Monday to vote on the "renovate as new" proposal, but had to postpone after school officials notified the board Monday that they had just learned that the amount of PCBs in the building is greater than originally realized, said Matthew Walton, the board's chairman.
"Obviously, this will add more to the costs" of the high school renovations.
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PCBs are chemicals that were used widely in a variety of products, including electrical wiring, up until they were banned in 1979 amid concerns they were dangerous to humans, according to the National Oceanica and Atmospheric Administration.
Walton said the chemicals pose no danger to students or staff at the high school since they are encased behind walls. But the building committee overseeing the renovation project learned that there are more of the chemicals than originally realized and that it will cost more than anticipated to remove them.
The board will meet on March 25 to review the high school proposal. The finance board's review is needed before the project can move forward.
Some on the finance board are beginning to raise concerns about the high school proposal, especially since the costs have escalated in the past year from about $40 million to $52 million, the Hartford Courant reports.
The state is expected to pay about 50 percent of the project's costs. The high school renovation is the result of a report several years ago by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, which accredits high schools, saying that the facility was lacking appropriate space in some instructional areas.