Hawley Elementary School PTA President Kristen Bonacci, standing at left, spoke first, representing the SOS campaign, during public participation at the school board's special meeting on Wednesday, June 24.
To the Editor:
Like others, I moved to Newtown with the hopes of starting a family in a closely-knit community with an excellent school system. I want to advocate for keeping our schools open especially when all the facts aren’t in.
Residents and visitors extol the beauty and character of our downtown. Historic buildings, faithfully serving the purpose for which they were designed a century ago, are vibrant reminders of Newtown’s heritage.
Our downtown schools are the epitome of that heritage. They’re beloved icons, beautiful and still fulfilling our needs.
Mary Hawley was not shortsighted. We shouldn’t be either. It seems to me that the powers that be are jumping the gun when it comes to closing any of schools. There are generations yet to be born in our wonderful town, and it is foolhardy to close a school (particularly one as beloved and historical as Hawley). It is far easier to close a school than it is to reopen one.
Closing any school in Newtown, especially the historic Hawley Elementary School, is not a good idea. Hawley turns 100 years old in six years and was one of the six gifts given to the town of Newtown by Elizabeth Hawley. Not many towns have history like that. We need to keep and preserve this historical resource and not let it fall into decay like the buildings at Fairfield Hills.
I'm not from Newtown. In fact I grew up over 3,000 miles away in London, England. However, over the last 13 years Newtown has become my home town, due in large part to the school communities that have warmly welcomed our family.