Derby picks school architect Committee now must
    obtain funding, determine a location
              By LINDA G. MELE Correspondent       Thursday, December 28, 2000   5:56 AM MST

DERBY -- The High School Building Committee has chosen an architect.  Now it must figure out how to pay for the service.

The committee met earlier this week and chose Fletcher Thompson Inc. to design the proposed school.  The firm had bid $20,000 on the job.

The committee must now meet with other city officials to determine from which account that money will come, Building Committee Chairman Michael Kelleher said.

The committee will have to bring the issue up with the boards of aldermen, education and apportionment and taxation, he said.

The architect will be charged with designing a "free-standing, grades nine-through-12 high school," Kelleher said.

It will also have to conduct a site analysis and a traffic flow study, and draw sewer design.

James Beaudin, principal of the Fletcher Thompson Education Studio, said as much as 70 percent of the firm's work involves education buildings.

The company's projects include New Milford High School, an addition on East Lyme High School, Wilton High School and the new Seymour Middle School, Beaudin said.

But before Fletcher Thompson can begin the analysis and design work, the committee must choose a site.

Kelleher said the committee would do that in a closed-door executive session.

The committee has been following an aggressive meeting schedule, convening every Monday in the Derby High School library.

A previous committee had made several proposals for a new high school, all of which were defeated in a referendum last June.

The city has ruled out solving school overcrowding by renovating the old Lincoln Elementary School on Minerva Street or adding portable classrooms.

At an earlier meeting, Building Committee members said they weren't discounting building a new facility on the 56 or so acres on Nutmeg Avenue where the current high school sits.

But other potential locations were discussed this week in executive session.

Alderman and Building Committee member John Orazietti also suggested sharing information with the Ansonia High School Building Committee.

That committee recently finished building a $26.5 million, 165,000-square-foot facility in Ansonia.

Members have said they would be willing to provide input. 
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