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!
6 Walker Hill Rd, Sandy Hook June 19, 2014