Field View Farm endorsed for school site
By AMANDA CUDA firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
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
Blades concluded that its landscape
and accessibility made the Hines property a solid choice
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.
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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