Joseph Costa, , has resigned effective immediately after coming to a decision to leave Fletcher Thompson and will no longer be working with the town on the project.
Officials confirmed that Costa resigned from the Connecticut-based architecture firm immediately, but were confident that despite the fact he has served as the principal assigned to the project since it’s inception, his absence will not affect the aggressive timetable on the project.
Costa officially resigned from his role with Fletcher Thompson on Monday morning. Company officials said they were unsure why he resigned or where he will be going.
“This doesn’t change anything, as far as we are concerned,” said Edward Pocock Jr., chairman of the Middle Schools Building Committee. “There are a few changes in staffing, but our focus right now is on the final designs and we don’t expect this to change anything.”
Costa could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
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Dan Casinelli, a principal with 16-years experience working with Fletcher Thompson, will now serve the town as the principal in charge for the project while associate principal Angela Cahill will take over the responsibilities as project manager. Costa had served in both roles prior to his resignation and had been the primary contact point for all education projects with the company since the start of the project.
The resignation came as a surprise for both town officials and staff with Fletcher Thompson, who expressed that they were unaware of his intent to resign before it happened.
Costa is still listed as they primarily principal on the Fletcher Thompson website, listed as the lead of the K-12 Education Practice Group for the New England region, but those responsibilities will now fall to Casinelli, officials said.
Despite the change in leadership, Casinelli expressed the company’s commitment to getting the project done in a timely fashion and to the specifications and quality set forth by the building committee. The committee continued their review of the site plans and designs Tuesday afternoon, including receiving an overview of furniture layouts and revised floor plans and site development.
“I have worked closely with (Joseph Costa) throughout my time with the company,” Casinelli said. “Joe will be missed, but now it’s time to focus and move forward. This project has a tight deadline.”
Cahill said prior to the resignation, she had already been working alongside Costa as part of a team effort to take the design revisions and bring them up to speed, she said. In addition, the Fletcher Thompson team has and will continue to meet regularly to discuss the project, she said.
Ground breaking is currently planned for next summer and could begin the moment that students leave school for the year, School Superintendent Joseph V. Erardi Jr. said.
Christopher Palmieri, the minority leader on the Southington Town Council and member of the building committee, said once the resignation was announced Monday, Fletcher Thompson officials immediately reached out to meet with building committee members.
“We had some questions and they were able to answer them,” Palmieri said. “We are confident that there will be a smooth transition.”
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