Residents and visitors extol the beauty and character of our downtown. Historic buildings, faithfully serving the purpose for which they were designed a century ago, are vibrant reminders of Newtown’s heritage.
Our downtown schools are the epitome of that heritage. They’re beloved icons, beautiful and still fulfilling our needs.
Mary Hawley was not shortsighted. We shouldn’t be either. It seems to me that the powers that be are jumping the gun when it comes to closing any of schools. There are generations yet to be born in our wonderful town, and it is foolhardy to close a school (particularly one as beloved and historical as Hawley). It is far easier to close a school than it is to reopen one.
Closing any school in Newtown, especially the historic Hawley Elementary School, is not a good idea. Hawley turns 100 years old in six years and was one of the six gifts given to the town of Newtown by Elizabeth Hawley. Not many towns have history like that. We need to keep and preserve this historical resource and not let it fall into decay like the buildings at Fairfield Hills.
I'm not from Newtown. In fact I grew up over 3,000 miles away in London, England. However, over the last 13 years Newtown has become my home town, due in large part to the school communities that have warmly welcomed our family.
The possible closing of Hawley Elementary School will affect us all!
As a local Newtown business owner for 15 years and now finally a resident of Newtown, I was ecstatic about entering my three young children into the Hawley Elementary School this fall, in 2017 and then again in 2018. With the threat of it closing, I am deeply saddened and fearful for my community.
*I strongly believe any upward and positive momentum after 12/14 will be in severe jeopardy.
If you were fortunate enough to be on Church Hill Road Wednesday morning, you might have seen the best illustration of why we need Hawley School in the center of our town: 50 kindergartners joyously marched along the sidewalk from Hawley to Big Y on an annual field trip that has become one of the beloved traditions of the school. It was beautiful. It was educational. It was community. It was a visible sign of the heart of Newtown.