The simple answer is NO, the project has not been rushed. Why do we say this?
Over the past year, the buildings have been diligently evaluated by regulatory agencies, architects and engineers, CT Office of School Construction Grants and Review (OSCGR) and Town officials.
However, the project has a sense of urgency because of the serious conditions in our schools and our regulatory status. Details have been presented at numerous public meetings, small group forums, building tours and two public hearings. The process has been transparent from beginning to end. Documents, design concepts and videos associated with the project are available at newfairfieldschools.org under the “Building Projects” tab and can also be found on this website.
Town officials and our State officials have pushed the State on alternative approaches. The state remains firm in not throwing good money after bad.
Delay and postponement of action on our schools has been the mode of operation of the project’s opponents. For example, Selectman Hanson was Chairman of the Board of Education from 2008 to 2014 (coinciding with much of the time John Hodge was First Selectman). During those years, contributions to funding capital projects were kept at a very low level for maintenance of four schools. For two years, no money was set aside to improve our schools – or to save for improvements. For FY08/09, the contribution was $140,000. For FY09/10, the contribution was $140,000. For FY10/11, the contribution was $140,000. For FY11/12, the contribution was $0. For FY12/13, the contribution was $0. In FY13/14, the contribution was $422,550.
Equally seriously, proposals to address the problems with the schools that had been under consideration in the 2007 timeframe disappeared when Mr. Hanson became Chairman of the Board of Education.
Board of Education Member, Dominic Cipollone, addressed this at the September 19th BOE meeting.
We can’t kick the can down the road any longer!
We have reached the end of the road with these schools!
Paid for by Build New Fairfield’s Future – Treasurer Josh Becket Flores , Chairman Eric Alviti