Stratford High renovation ordinances move on

Ordinance Committee to meet on Feb. 22

By Melvin Mason on February 9, 2016

Supporters of the proposed renovations to Stratford High School saw some progress as the Town Council sent bonding and cost resolutions to the Ordinance Committee for review.

The town’s top board voted at Monday’s lengthy council meeting to refer both an ordinance that would increase the cost of the renovation from $103.1 million to $125.9 million and an ordinance that would allow the town to bond for up to $65 million for the project. Both items will be subject to public hearings before the Ordinance Committee, which is comprised of Town Council members.

The Ordinance Committee next meets on Feb. 22.

Supporters of the SHS renovation project, many dressed in red and yellow Stratford High sweatshirts, applauded the Council’s move. Many of them voiced their support for the project to improve a school that they say is long overdue for repairs.

Board of Education Chairman Jim Feehan, a vocal supporter of the renovation plan, said the clock is ticking on the Council to approve the necessary paperwork to get it to the General Assembly in order to secure the 60% reimbursement rate. Feehan has repeatedly stated that not approving a resolution in enough time would put the town at risk for losing millions in state reimbursement.

Mike Fiorello, president of the Stratford Education Association, the union representing Stratford teachers, said the time is now for the Town Council to approve the renovation project.

Council Chairwoman Beth Daponte urged residents to attend a special Council workshop on Feb. 18 at Stratford High. The meeting was set up to allow residents to find out more about the project and to discuss the costs. Daponte says residents should have more information before approving a project that commits the town to spending about $54 million.