Field View Farm could be site of Derbyís new high school
  Marianne Lippard, Register Correspondent       March 21, 2001

DERBY ó The High School Building Committee has endorsed a plan to build a new school on Field View Farm, the oldest dairy farm in the state.

Members unanimously backed a proposal Monday to build a 125,000-square-foot high school on the 360-year-old farm off Route 34.

Members said there is a potential to build ample athletic fields on the site.

The $31.7 million building would cost the city $14 million, after an estimated state reimbursement of $17.7 million. 

The figures include the cost of buying 25.5 acres of the farm.

Farm owner Walter Hine has about 65 acres of land, half in Derby, half in Orange and a portion in Woodbridge.

Hine said Tuesday he has heard rumors about the cityís interest in acquiring the land, but has not heard from city officials. "Iíve heard nothing," Hine said.

Aldermanic President Michael Kelleher, D-3, chairman of the building committee, said Hine should have been formally notified.  He said the city has notified Bob Blank, a real estate agent representing Hine, of the cityís intent to buy the land.

At a referendum last June, voters turned down a $40.6 million package to build a new high school and convert the existing facility on Nutmeg Avenue into a middle school.

Richard Froehle, a member of the Board of Education and the building committee, said that by scaling back the original plans, the city has been able to find a workable solution to overcrowding.

Prior to the vote, committee members looked at cost comparisons among three other possibilities: a renovation to the old Lincoln School building on Minerva Street, construction of a new high school on the Derby High School campus, or the installation of temporary trailers to house grades 6 through 8.

The estimated cost to the city for the Minerva Street renovation, after reimbursement, is $15.3 million. 

Construction of a new high school on the current high school campus, after reimbursement from the state, would be approximately$14.5 million.

The expected cost of the temporary classrooms for middle school students, after reimbursement, is $11.7 million. 

Unlike the other three plans, the proposal for modular classrooms includes a renovation to the existing high school.

Kelleher said that while the temporary buildings could be stacked to conserve space, those buildings would not be handicapped accessible.

Alderman John Orazietti, who serves on the committee, said the proposed school driveway could cause traffic problems for nearby homeowners and condominium owners.adv52664

 < Do all the above figures have a 50% inflation factor built-in ? - ENM >