In Sandy Hook, like in other areas, our elementary school is the center of our community. Our children learned to ride their bikes in the parking lot. They learned to read and write in the classrooms alongside their friends and neighbors. They played baseball on hot summer days and took their first driving lesson in the big open parking lot on a quiet Saturday afternoon. On December 14, 2012 many things were taken from us. Six women gave their lives, and 20, yes 20 children will never have the chance to grow up.
I am writing in support of the Sandy Hook School referendum being held this Saturday, October 5, at the Newtown Middle School from 6 am to 8 pm.
One hundred percent of the funding for this project is being provided by the State of Connecticut. We are lucky to have a commission like Public Building and Site to manage the expenditures within the budget amount.
My message today comes as a neighbor and friend, not as a member of the Legislative Council and Chair of its Finance Committee. While the words of eminent philosophers always abound, here’s a paraphrase of the one they call Eminem. It’s about the funding referendum scheduled for this Saturday, October 5, at the Middle School.
Please be sure to vote this Saturday, October 5th in the town referendum. My family and I will be voting Yes for Sandy Hook Elementary School. Whether one looks at the issue practically, heart-felt, or economically, to me, the answer is yes, yes, yes.
Calling the $50 million a gift from the state to build us a new school (to replace our Sandy Hook School) is not really true. Government has no money unless they take it from us first. It has to come from somewhere, probably state income taxes and gas taxes or other fees. It will add to our state deficit.
In the several letters which have appeared in The Bee urging the support of the almost-certain-to-be-passed October 5th referendum, a number of points are made and repeated with which reasonable people could take issue. But I believe that one comment, reiterated in several of the letters, is simply wrong. That is the assertion that the demolition/re-building of Sandy Hook Elementary School is dependent on the approval of this referendum, and that there are “no second chances” should it fail.
When John Reed was first hired as superintendent, I was the Middle Gate PTA liaison to the Board of Education and watched closely as he worked his office. I also served on two of his committees charged with sizing the buildings out 10 years.
In all my dealings with John, he conducted himself with the utmost transparency, honesty, and integrity. The children of Newtown always came first.
The upcoming referendum on October 5th is not just about the Sandy Hook School community. It is a referendum with an outcome that has an impact on every family in our town. We are writing to urge you, our neighbors, to vote Yes to the October 5th Referendum to accept the $49,250,000 grant from the State of Connecticut to rebuild Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Over two meetings, the Sandy Hook Elementary School Parent Teacher Association (PTA) unanimously voted last week to advocate for a Yes vote for the Saturday, October 5, referendum for the authorization for the town government to spend state money on demolishing, designing, and building a Sandy Hook School.
According to Sandy Hook School PTA President Stephanie Burns, First Vice President Jennifer Taylor, and member Karen Holden, the meetings focused more on how to get people out to vote rather than on whether or not to advocate.
Newtown’s Public Building and Site Commission (PBSC) introduced the design and engineering teams that will oversee the pending remediation and demolition of the existing Sandy Hook School, as well as coordinating the new school building project as it rolls out in the coming months. The panel also heard brief reports from project managers Aaron Krueger of Consigli Construction and Julia McFadden of Svigals + Partners.