Special Stratford High renovation workshop set for Feb. 18

By Melvin Mason on February 4, 2016 in Latest News, Lead News, Lead News, News, Schools · 0 Comments

A date has been set for a special Town Council workshop to review the proposed Stratford High School renovation before voting the town’s top board decides to proceed with bonding the project.

Council Chairwoman Beth Daponte announced Thursday that the special council meeting will be held on Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. in the Stratford High auditorium. A public forum will take place after the workshop.

“The goals of the workshop are to give this council the opportunity to review results from the design and development phase of the project and to hear the answers to the questions about the project I have previously posed regarding the costs, benefits, and health and safety issues of the project,” Daponte said in an email to council members.

The SHS Renovation Subcommittee has worked for years on developing a plan to fix SHS. The previous Town Council voted on Dec. 7 to approve an amended cost estimate of $125.9 million for the SHS renovation. Of that, the town would be responsible for $52.6 million. Daponte has said she and the council members have questions to ask before voting on an amending appropriation and bonding ordinances for the SHS renovation project. In particular, Daponte says she wants paperwork that would the town would be guaranteed the 60% reimbursement rate that has been promised to Stratford.

However, Board of Education Chairman James Feehan said Daponte is trying to stall the project, noting that Daponte has asked the SHS Renovation Subcommittee to examine the possibility of a single high school for Stratford. Feehan is demanding that the council take action on the bonding ordinances so the General Assembly can review the project. Feehan and other supporters of the renovations fear that delaying the approval could result in Stratford losing the 60% reimbursement rate.

The council’s next regular meeting is Monday, Feb. 8.