Officials eye new plan for school
  Marianne Lippard, Register Correspondent   November 01, 2000

DERBY — City officials are looking into another plan to build a new high school to ease overcrowding at Derby High School.

Under a plan being reviewed by members of the Board of Aldermen, Board of Education and Board of Apportionment and Taxation, the city would build a new high school and create a middle school at the existing high school on Nutmeg Avenue. 

Board of Education Chairman James Gildea said the three boards may appoint a building committee at a forum Thursday at 7 p.m. in the high school. 

Superintendent of Schools Martin Gotowala will report on the feasibility of using portable classrooms or the former Lincoln School building on Minerva Street at the meeting. 

Voters defeated a $40.6 million plan to build a new high school and renovate the existing high school in June, but Gildea said a new school building is still necessary. 

If the city can get by without renovating the existing high school building, the cost of the project could be cut by nearly two thirds, Gildea said. 
<< Is the remaining 1/3 rd, 
        the part which is reimbursable at the 70% rate? - enm >>

Gildea expressed enthusiasm for the plans after attending an education summit last week at the high school.  Members of the three boards took part in the discussion, which included a presentation by Gotowala. 

"People still feel that a new school is the way to go.  At this point, the majority felt a single school option may be the best way to address space needs," said Gildea, who noted that a renovation could cost even more than a new building. 

A proposal to join the Amity Regional School District was ruled out by the group as too costly. 

Gotowala, who started as the new superintendent several months ago, said he would like to improve the schools by reducing class size and reorganizing Derby High.  The high school currently houses grades seven through 12, which Gotowala described as "too large." 

The city must submit a new plan to the state by June 30 to qualify for 70 percent state reimbursement. 

Although only about 15 parents attended last week’s forum, Mayor Marc Garofalo said he expects public involvement to increase once a more definitive plan is in place. 

"We need to have a collective direction of the three boards," Garofalo said. 

<< Perhaps, rather than finish an empty auditorium, we could create several multipurpose rooms:  a couple of single 'hoop' areas, a canteen area with wooden /cement benches, a study area with individual stalls, and all linked  with hallway  mazes.  Thus those students who are not at home in a civilized classroom would have a built-in place to wander.  - - enm>>