Manchester, CT – A 27-ton steel walkway was recently put into place, connecting the campuses of a new fifth- and sixth-grade school at the Elisabeth M. Bennet Academy, located in Manchester.
The 90-ft.-long walkway links Bennet Academy with the Cheney Building, a long-shuttered former vocational school that is being thoroughly renovated. This is the first project in an $84 million school modernization effort that also includes renovation and expansion of two elementary schools and the planned closings of two other schools.
The walkway over School Street is to be sheathed with glass panels. The structural steel bridge arrived in three sections, which were welded together onsite by workers with Hartford-based QSR Steel Corp.
The Bennet-Cheney project includes conversion of the Cheney Building into 18 classrooms, construction of three more classrooms in the adjacent boiler plant, and an expansion of the Bennet cafeteria.
QSR worked on the Cheney Bennett project in collaboration with Downes Construction, Tai Soo Kim, and Macchi Engineers.
According to Glenn Salamone, president of QSR, his company faced several challenges constructing, moving, and installing the walkway. Once the three sections were shipped and assembled onsite, his team had to fit the entire structure into a space with tight tolerances of only 1.5 inches both in length and width. In addition, they had to work around existing structures and power lines.
“Working on the Cheney Bennett project in collaboration with Downes Construction, Tai Soo Kim and Macchi Engineers provided QSR with an exciting opportunity to showcase my team and their talents. We are slated to begin work on another school with Downes and the town of Manchester, so we were glad to top this one off on such a positive note,” said Salamone.
Waddell Elementary School students will attend school in the building while renovation and expansion of Waddell is completed. All fifth-graders are to attend the Bennet-Cheney school in the fall of 2018.