State will pay 70% of school 
 Joanne M. Pelton, Naugatuck Valley Bureau Chief July 03, 2001
DERBY School officials said Monday that if residents approve plans for a new high school within the next year the state will still pay 70 percent of the cost. 

After the June 12 rejection of a plan to build a $31.4 million school off Route 34, school officials asked the state Board of Education to give the city another year to work on a plan.

It was the second school referendum to fail last year voters rejected a $40.6 million plan to build a new high school and transform the current high school into a middle school.

If the city was not granted an extension, the state reimbursement rate could have decreased.

Tom Murphy, spokesman for the state Board of Education, said the state will still reimburse the city at 70 percent if the city submits a plan by June 30, 2002.

Board of Education Chairman James Gildea said the board must regroup and look at its options. He said there is still overcrowding in the schools and that it will need to be addressed.

"We're not going to give up," he said.

Alderman Michael Kelleher, D-3, who is also the chairman of the School Building Committee, said his committee will meet at 7 p.m. July 10 at City Hall to discuss options.

Architects from Fletcher Thompson Inc. of Bridgeport will be on hand to talk about the possibility of renovating the current high school on Nutmeg Avenue.

Kelleher said many residents favor an addition to that school, which was built in 1968.

"We want people to give us their input in what they want to see," he said.

There are 638 students at the high school in grades 7-12, and school officials expect about 782 students at the high school during the 2004-2005 school year. School officials said new space will have to be found for those students.

 ©New Haven Register 2001