Stonington School officials want to give new life to the town’s aging elementary schools, but it’s a project that will not be possible without the support of the community.
The Stonington Board of Selectman agreed at a March meeting to allow the Board of Education to recreate the K-12 School Building Committee if the school board can find at least ten interested people to serve on the committee and get $50,000 from the Board of Finance to complete the planning of the project.
“I know there are people in town that are passionate about moving this forward,” Board of Education Chairman Gail MacDonald said.
The school board will eventually need approval from the town and the voters for the estimated $35 million project.
“Some of these schools need TLC or something better,” Selectman George Grouse said told Stonington School officials during the Board of Selectman meeting.. “Get your committee going and then you’re going to have to sell the project to the parents and the town.”
Superintendent said four individuals have already come forward stating their interest to serve on the K-12 School Building Committee.
“The ideal committee would be made up of a variety of people—number crunchers, dreamers, visually talented people, people who take the practical standpoint,” Masterjoseph said. “It would be most effective. It would be fantastic to have a student involved.”
The initial idea for renovating the elementary buildings would be to consolidate the and onto one campus at the West Vine location. Those schools would probably be the priority, but Masterjoseph stressed that is also in need of serious work.
“The buildings were built to serve the purpose of education during the time they were built,” Masterjoseph said.
One of the priorities in renovating the schools would be to create spaces that could be used as different size flex space, get the full benefit of computer technology within the schools and make each elementary building handicap accessible.
“They are beautiful and charming schools but they were not built with technology in mind,” Masterjoseph said.”
According to Masterjoseph while many community members know West Broad is not handicap accessible there many do not realize there is no elevator at West Vine so that school is not handicapped accessible either.
“When children have difficulty attending their neighborhood schools it has an impact on programming,” Masterjoseph said.
If you are interested in serving on the K-12 Building Committee, write a letter stating your interest to the .