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Informational Sessions on High School Consolidation Plan to be Held Today

A morning and two afternoon sessions will be held at the Enfield Senior Center.

In preparation for next Tuesday's referendum question concerning the high school consolidation, the Enfield Senior Center will be hosting three informational sessions today.

Residents may ask questions at the sessions, which will be held from 10 a.m. to noon, 1:30-2:30 p.m., and 6-7:30 p.m.

Question #1 on the Nov. 6 ballot reads:

"Shall the Town of Enfield appropriate $103,000,000 for the expansion and renovation of Enfield High School, and authorize the issuance of bonds, notes or temporary notes in an amount not to exceed $35,000,000, with the balance funded by grants and other available funds?"

Town officials have said the taxpayers' portion of the renovation cost is lower than the expected costs of having to bring both high school buildings up to new state standards, in addition to mandatory ADA-compliance updates.

The Enfield Senior Center is located at 299 Elm Street.

Amanda Braun Hartwig November 01, 2012 at 01:44 PM
My question/comment is why do we need to expand Enfield High when we will have fewer kids in each class. Also, my mother in law went to Enfield with about 1200 kids and they didnt need to expand. So, why waste taxpayers money and just use what they have? New or bigger isnt always better.
Bill Lee November 01, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Ms. Braun Hartwig - Enfield has been using what it has well for nearly four generations. Quite simply - Many of the building systems within Enfield High, as well as the Fermi facility, are at the end of their useful life, if not already obsolete. The plan is not about spending for the sake of just having new shiny equipment - it's an overhaul to bring the building into code compliance, and equip the school system with the tools it **requires** to meet the most current state-instructional standards for programs including science and technology, etc. New or bigger may not always better. But obsolete, inefficient, and broken rarely are a good combination for a community seeking to re-position and solidify a modern and high-achieving public school system. The financial impact on the average taxpayer is likely to resemble what we've experienced over the last 15 years with the various $20-30 million road projects, except with the school initiative will also come with an assortment of budgetary cost-savings once completed. I urge you to attend the session... I think you'll come away with a much clearer understanding of the financial value of the plan-- and the impact on the delivery of quality education here in Enfield. If you have specific questions I'd be happy to track down answers from the appropriate people.
J Seiler November 01, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Very well said Mr. Lee. The point Ms. Braun Hartwig might be missing is the consolidation part. It's not 'bigger is better.' That is far from what Enfield is trying to accomplish here. Not only are the tools obsolete but 'shoving' more students into one of the existing buildings is impossible. the schools have needed updating for years to make for a quality learning environment for our children. Perhaps then we wouldn't see some of the test scores as we do now coming from the high school level.
Kevin C. November 02, 2012 at 12:09 AM
What it comes down to is pay NOW or pay later. If we do not pass this referendum, we still have to provide accommodations for new state mandated educational requirements. Enfield residents, this is an opportunity of a lifetime. We have a great deal here: an opportunity to provide a 21st century education to our children in a $103 million state-of-the-art high school. HOWEVER, With a state reimbursement of approximately 70%, the town is only responsible to pay $35 million. Projected yearly operational savings by closing a high school of $2 million will pay for the bond. If we do not pass this referendum, we will have to renovate both high schools (we still have to accommodate new state educational mandates) at a cost of $50 million, a cost that is not reimbursable at all. If this referendum fails, we will see a rise in taxes to pay for the renovation of both schools, and it won't even solve the current resource allocation and curriculum problems we are having. This high school consolidation is ALL about academics for our children. Cost savings will result from a more efficient use of our resources to fund AP's, vocational programs, arts, sports, you name it.Those who have stayed up to date with the planning process have known that we are struggling to maintain two large high school budgets. We can't offer a competitive curriculum here. Folks, we are hanging on a thread. As a parent and taxpayer, I want to see this town thrive. Vote YES for the consolidation on Nov. 6th

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