Valley Times                         Saturday, May 19, 2001
 Derby Resident Concerned About Proposed Land for New High School 

 To the Editor:

I am writing this letter for two reasons.  When I attended the joint meetings of the city boards on April 26, I did not know I would be verbally attacked.  I want only the BEST for all the children of Derby.  That is why I endorsed the first plan that was to renovate and add onto our present high school.  That would be an immediate fix for the high school.  Then put on a sealed addition to the north end of the high school, therefore relieving congestion in the 7th and 8th grades section and making room for the 6th graders thus having their own building.  And giving back to the high school the rooms they used, and relieving Bradley and Irving schools of their 6th graders.  No, I am not "evil."  I just think a lot differently than you do.  Could that have been the reason for vour attack?  

Now getting back to the important issue.  I think that Mr. Chirgwin's concerns are REAL.  A lot of people are or should be concerned about only one exit . Our houses or apartments must have two exits.  Why, then, is this not one of your group's major concerns?  Shelton High School has an upper and lower exit--the upper exit being for emergency use.  Seymour has two exits front and back, and Ansonia High School has two exits.  The emergency one comes out on Sunset Drive in Derby.  As far as contamination goes, let's hope that all the proper tests are done and that soil from every section is taken.  And the fill that was taken to be used at the Raymark site in Stratford was taken only from the south side of Hines Farm.  That is located on the other side of Route 34.  There was not one shovelful of dirt taken from the proposed high school site.

Where was the figure that only 100 cars would be' using Sodom Lane during school obtained?  I don't think those figures could possibly be correct.  Derby High School is located on Nutmeg Avenue, not a driveway.  Nutmeg Avenue starts as a right or left off Hawthorne Avenue until you reach the corner of Chatfield Street.  That is why the Public Works Department is responsible for keeping that road open during winter storms.  I also have my doubts about Sodom Lane being like Chatfield Street.  

I will only say one thing about the high power gas line. A gas leak can happen (April 30, 2001-Oklahoma). As we who have lived in Derby long enough to remember knows how true that is. This alone should have been the reason why a high school shouldn't have ever been considered on or near this property. 

I also know that if tractor trailer trucks were going up and down Belleview Drive, the residents there wouldn't be very happy, right?  A few years back there was a moratorium on condos.  If necessary, that could be revisited again thus ending any speculation of 200 new condos.

Honesty is still the best policy, people, and I think this whole issue revolves around recreational problems that we are facing.  If we ALL put our heads together, we could eliminate the so-called overcrowding in the elementary schools by adding onto the high school like I said in the beginning of this letter.  Then concentrate our efforts on making this city address the recreational facilities and fields that are so desdesperately needed for both children and adults.  And for the Board of Education to stop and think first before adding a new athletic program at the high school just because a few parents feel that their children have the opportunity to play another sport.  Where are they supposed to play?  What field will they use?  How would a new sport affect what we already have?  The above questions were obviously never asked and they should have been.  

It is my opinion that actions like this are the reason why the Board of Education has so much trouble getting anything passed.  We are no longer citizens who just sit back and trust our elected officials.  TRUST is no longer taken for granted.  It must be earned.

  CHRISTINE ROBINSON 
  Derby 

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