We Do Not Live In A City!

To the Editor:

I attended the public meeting on June 4th at the NHS lecture hall where Svigals + Partners unveiled their ostentatious plans for the new SHS. I was truly disheartened by the presentation, sitting for almost an hour while the project lead tried to explain how Sandy Hook got its’ name, how we are all part of the Earth and  that we are all part of the water in her best attempt to sell us their next colossal boondoggle.

At first I thought it was the arrogance of the engineers and designers that was not sitting well with me, however, after speaking at length with one of our victims’ families about it, I realized it was the structure and obnoxious layout of it that truly bothered me. As this Gold Star mother put it to me, “It reminds me of Garner Correctional,” and honestly, she is spot on.

We do not live in a city, so why do we wish to build a city like office building to replace a much needed elementary school? True, we have made this mistake over and over with NHS, Middle Gate, and Head O’ Meadow; however we have the chance to correct that trend and look more to Reed School for our design. We are a small traditional New England town complete with antique red school houses and tall white church spires peeking through our forested landscape. We should be looking at the original portion of the Middle School and Hawley School for our inspiration and leave the so called “Main Street” design that Svigals wishes to sell us for cities like New Haven and Bridgeport.

We are obviously not in a hurry to replace SHS given the powers that be have decided not to open the school before Fall of 2016, after our surviving class members have moved to Reed.  Since I cannot seem to influence those powers to move more quickly, I would suggest that we reject the Svigals + Partners design, and if need be, terminate their services and search for a designer and contractor who will much better honor our small New England town by looking at the buildings at FFH, The Edmund Town Hall, and the Cyrenius Booth Library for their architectural inspiration.   

Just another thought to mull over, maybe we should use a contractor that can actually give a budget number and not just one that over and over insists its’ project will come under the 50 million dollar grant from the state. Just because we have been granted that amount does not mean we should not be excellent stewards of the people’s money! After all, we are all state taxpayers, not just town taxpayers; we have an obligation to the citizens of the state not to waste it on opulence!


Peter Barresi

6 Walker Hill Rd, Sandy Hook               June 19, 2014

More stories like this: Sandy Hook, Svigals Partners, SHS


Sandy hook school

I have to agree the design misses the character of newtown. Where is that small New England charm, and why 10,000 square feet larger than the former school when we have declining enrollment.


I did not like the vaulted roofline of Reed nor that of "The Primrose Palace." Let's heat the air. I wondered why the wall of glass on the high school....but it all sank in with clarity with the building of Walgreens....same vaulted design like the McMansions... sure do look purrrrrrty.

As for Sandy Hook School; I knew what was coming down the pike with the sketches of the driveway entry. The façade of buildings do not add one thing to our town except something for the relators to ooo and aghhh at while they try to peddle their wears. Gotta go now, the October 1st Field Hockey game is on Channel 17... A G A I N

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