Log In

Reset Password

School Board Learns NHS Expansion Project Delayed



Text Size

School Board Learns NHS Expansion Project Delayed

By Eliza Hallabeck

Along with being presented a school enrollment projection, as previously reported in The Bee, the Board of Education also heard from Newtown High School Principal Charles Dumais that the timeframe for the NHS expansion and renovation project has been pushed back by one to two months during its meeting on Tuesday, August 17. He said the expansion portion of the project will not be completed by the expected September 1 date, and is expected to be pushed to either October or November.

Mr Dumais said transitioning into the building will be done as seamlessly as possible for the students and the teachers.

One major obstacle, he said, is Stair 4, which was slated to expand in the expansion process. Mr Dumais said both the state fire marshal and the town fire marshal have inspected the site, and say if the stairwell is not finished by September 1, students cannot enter the building.

Board member Kathy Fetchick broached the topic of the stairwell not being completed in time for school to start. Mr Dumais answered, in that event, the school year would be pushed back for only Newtown High School students.

“The timeline is extremely tight for Stair 4,” he said.

In other news, the driveway work is underway, and Mr Dumais said parking should be available by the start of the school year.

At the start of the meeting, the school board voted 4-3 to place Independent Party of Newtown member William Hart into the open position of chair, vacated by Lillian Bittman due to family obligations, and Superintendent of Schools Janet Robinson had a challenge for the community.

Also at the meeting, former Newtown Middle School language arts teacher Jennifer Sinal, who also directed musicals at the school during her time there, was announced as the new assistant principal for Sandy Hook School by new Principal Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung.

“I couldn’t have asked for more,” said Ms Sinal. “I am very grateful.”

Both Mr Hart and board member David Nanavaty said their daughters had been Ms Sinal’s students when in eighth grade.

“I was very happy to read Jenn was moving on,” Mr Nanavaty said, “although, I don’t know how we will replace her at NMS.”

During her report, Dr Robinson explained Newtown High School, Newtown Middle School, Reed Intermediate School, and Sandy Hook Elementary School have been added to the list of possible schools to earn the Kohl’s Cares for Kids contest, which awards $500,000 to each of the 20 top schools in a voting contest.

“I challenge everyone to get their friends, parents, relations,” said Dr Robinson, “to vote.”

More about the program will become available online, and Ms  Bittman suggested adding a Facebook page for the program, to help it “go viral with the students.”

Comments are open. Be civil.

Leave a Reply