Field View Farm endorsed for school site 
   By AMANDA CUDA          acuda@ctpost.com            Friday, March 30, 2001

                 DERBY -- The school building committee Thursday recommended that the city  acquire part of Field View Farm and build a new high school on the site.

                    Commission Chairman Michael Kelleher made the recommendation at a joint  meeting of the Board of Aldermen, Board of Education and Board of  Apportionment and Taxation.

                    The plan would allow the city to build a high school for grades nine through 12 on 25.5 acres of property on the farm, located in the southeast corner of the city. 
 < How high is the water table in that field ? -enm >

                    The current high school would likely become a middle school for grades six  through eight.

                    Schools Supt. Martin Gotowala said a new school is needed to ease space concerns.  He said enrollment is 648 students at the high school and is likely to grow to 662 by 2010.
 < Fourteen student increase in nine years - wow ! -enm >

                    The farm property, owned by Walter Hines, was one of six considered for the new high school, including the site of the existing high school on Nutmeg Avenue.  The cost is projected at $31.4 million, but the city would pay only $13.5 million after state reimbursements.

                    Architect Barry Blades went through each of the prospective sites, pointing out  flaws in each.  Two of the proposed sites, the McConney property on the city's west side and the Fountain Lake property in the city's northwest corner, didn't have sewer lines.  Other properties, including the current high school site, were too steep
 < Was it too steep at $41-M - last June ? - or did the earth move? -enm >

                    Blades concluded that its landscape and accessibility made the Hines property a solid choice for development. 
 < Will it be accessable by gondola, also ? - enm >

                    Tax board member Beverly Moran asked what would happen if the new proposal met the same fate as a previous plan for a new high school, which was voted down last June.

                    "If  you go out and it's shot down again, what are you going to do?" Moran said.

                    Gotowala said if the proposal is defeated, the district will have to look for ways to increase space for students.

                    Mayor Marc Garofalo asked whether moving the sixth grade to the middle school would allow Derby to add a full-day kindergarten.  Sixth-graders now attend elementary school.
 < This is as it should be, until they age beyond 12 years! -enm >

                    Gotowala said the move would create more room in the grade schools and could make room for all-day kindergarten.

                   The boards didn't vote on the recommendation at press time.  If recommended,  Kelleher hopes to bring the proposal to a June referendum.

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