Empty Bristol school getting ready to welcome new tenants

The old Reynolds ‘school’ will soon house several town and school departments

By Christy Nadalin
Posted 7/29/21

Reynolds School is getting a facelift in preparation for its next chapter.

After serving as a school for generations of Bristol children, Reynolds was closed more than a decade ago. It found a new …

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Empty Bristol school getting ready to welcome new tenants

The old Reynolds ‘school’ will soon house several town and school departments

Posted

Reynolds School is getting a facelift in preparation for its next chapter.

After serving as a school for generations of Bristol children, Reynolds was closed more than a decade ago. It found a new purpose for a time, serving as home to several arts and wellness groups, including the Bristol Theatre Company. Now the Town of Bristol is taking the historic building in a new direction.

Keeping with an overarching plan to reduce the number of buildings it owns and maintains, the town is currently showing a property at 10 Naomi St., and the Bristol Town Council recently approved the sale of 9 Court St., which has been appraised at $575,000.

Meanwhile, the Bristol Warren Regional School Department has long been leasing the Oliver School on State Street as their headquarters. That is set to change this fall.

The school district administration offices will be moved to the second floor of the Reynolds Building, while the five town employees with the Community Development, Planning, and Building Inspector’s offices, will be moving to the first floor of Reynolds. In addition, the first floor will include two conference rooms, and the auditorium will serve as a public meeting space — one with significantly higher capacity than the Town Hall Council Chambers, with a limit of 75.

Floors have been refinished throughout the building, and there’s a fresh coat of paint on the walls; exterior renovations, wiring and network installation are ongoing.

Move-in dates pending

According to Town Administrator Steven Contente, the town will be ready to welcome their new tenants by the start of the school year, though an actual move-in date has not been set. According to Robert Hicks, reached on his first day as acting superintendent, that will be determined at a meeting currently set for Aug. 18. Once the Oliver School is vacated, Mr. Contente anticipates the town will put that building on the market as well.

Town employees currently located at 9 Court St. will make their move in late fall or over the winter.

Some of the funding for the renovations, including the HVAC upgrades, came from federal funds distributed for community resiliency, while other funding came from the town’s building improvement fund. The school district will be paying the town $3,000 per month for rent.

“The goal is to consolidate buildings, reduce maintenance expenses, and be more efficient moving forward,” said Mr. Contente.

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