The most urgent capital needs at New Canaan's public schools include replacing the gym floor at West Elementary School and the underground oil tanks of Saxe and the three elementary schools, a comprehensive facilities assessment shows.

The study details physical deficiencies at all five schools and recommends how soon they should be addressed. The report, presented to the Board of Education last week, was prepared by Bill Silver and Michelle Miller of the Hamden-based architecture and engineering firm Silver/Petrucelli and Associates. The company also is in charge of the South Elementary School window project, a $2.75 million renovation that began last summer.

Among the No. 1 priorities at East, West and South elementary schools as well as Saxe Middle School are their aging underground fuel oil storage tanks. "The tank is likely at its end of useful life and requirements for tank testing and inspection should be reviewed," the report states. The firm recommends that replacement should be budgeted for within one to five years. Costs associated with replacing each tank would be at least $150,000, according to the report.

At West, where the gym floor is damaged, the firm found that some punctures "could result in a tripping hazard." Replacing the floor with rubber flooring is projected to cost $125,000.

No high-priority items were found for New Canaan High School, which underwent a major renovation in 2008.

Superintendent of Schools Bryan Luizzi said administrators will review the report and decide the priorities for the capital plan, which will be presented to the board Jan. 5.

Some of the No. 2 priorities -- items that should be corrected within the next three years -- include removing and replacing existing roofing structures at South, West and Saxe schools. Costs for such projects could cost up to $2 million, the report projects. The document also suggests replacing the fire alarm systems at the middle and elementary schools.

In addition, the study covers fire code conformance, including accessibility and Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines, health and life safety issues, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing system conditions, technology, environmental hazards and ongoing and long-term maintenance issues.

noliveira@bcnnew.com, 203-330-6582, @olivnelson