Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra has issued a statement in response to the bomb scare called in to Sandy Hook Elementary School this morning: “Earlier today a bomb scare was received at Sandy Hook School. The scare was classified as a "no threat-low threat" event, but in an abundance of caution, Superintendent Erardi determined that dismissal of students at 12 noon is the best course of action. All students and staff are safe. Monroe Police are on site, as are Newtown Police. The building and grounds will be thoroughly searched and cleared of any concern. Updated information will be shared via school district communication systems as well as via the town’s ‘blast’ system."
In light of this morning’s bomb scare at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Newtown Recovery & Resiliency Team would like residents to know that its center will be fully staffed on Thursday, October 2. In a message released Wednesday, October 1, the staff said that the scare called in to the elementary school “ended with the best possible outcome: all students and teachers are safe. Even so, it would be normal in the aftermath of the event for you and your children to experience emotional reactions and concerns. The Newtown Recovery & Resiliency Team will be fully staffed tomorrow with Counselors and Case Managers to provide support and resources.”
Near the start of the Newtown Prevention Council’s first meeting of the new school year, held on Thursday, September 18, Co-Chair Judy Blanchard announced, “We’re moving ahead on some new ground, and we’re going to need everybody on board.” In January, Ms Blanchard said First Selectman Pat Llodra proposed that the Newtown Prevention Council (NPC) would have a role in the town’s resiliency efforts moving forward. “We’ve come a long way since then,” said Ms Blanchard.
Hawleyville Volunteer Fire Company #1 has purchased the vacant former Hawleyville post office and adjacent land at 30 Hawleyville Road (Route 25) from the Housatonic Railroad Company, Inc. Hawleyville Fire Chief John Basso said last week that the sale occurred on September 12. Real estate documents for the transaction do not list the sale price. But based on the amount of town conveyance tax paid in the purchase, the sale price for the building and about three-quarters of an acre was $180,000. The site is in the Hawleyville Center Design District (HCDD) zone. The fire company’s firehouse is at 34 Hawleyville Road, about 175 feet northeast of the former post office.
Crews began the demolition of Danbury Hall on the Fairfield Hills campus at approximately 10 am on Monday, September 29.
The long awaited final steps in removing the structure and opening up sight lines of the campus from Wasserman Way, officials were told, would take hours.
Initially, the Danbury Hall demolition was supposed to be part of a larger project to include razing the eight single-family former staff homes, but earlier this summer, the project funds were refocused just on Danbury. The price tag for complete abatement and removal of Danbury Hall is $511,000, according to First Selectmen Pat Llodra’s documentation.
A firm that wants to create a tire recycling operation in an industrial building at 40 High Bridge Road is expected to submit a revised regulatory proposal to the town, which would seek to add that type of land use to the zoning regulations. George Benson, town director of planning, said September 25 that he met with a representative of MAAK Environmental Corporation on September 24 to discuss the firm’s making some revisions to its initial regulatory proposal on tire recycling, which the company withdrew from Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) consideration following a September 18 P&Z public hearing.
The state Department of Transportation plans to select by October the firm which will make major renovations to the steel-truss span over the Lake Zoar section of the Housatonic River, commonly known as Silver Bridge. The bridge links Glen Road in Sandy Hook to River Road in Southbury. DOT is reviewing five bids submitted for the bridge renovation project, according to DOT spokesman Kevin Nursick. The apparent low bidder for the project is McNamee Construction Corp of Lincolndale, N.Y., which submitted a bid of $4.474 million. The four other bids ranged from $4.626 million to $5.362 million, he said. The DOT had estimated construction costs at about $5 million. Construction work is slated to start next year on about April 1, Mr Nursick said. Completion is projected for June 2016.
Danbury Hall’s days are dwindling. With big machines at rest around its perimeter, demolition could begin as soon as Monday, September 29, confirmed Christal Preszler with the Newtown Planning Department. This week, the wood was being stripped from the building, she said. Bestech is the demolition contractor. Soon, the corner of Trades Lane and Wasserman Way at the Fairfield Hills main entrance will offer a clear view of soccer fields and a waking path now blocked by the 1930s brick structure.
Volunteers recently made a day’s work of clearing trails, cutting fallen tree limbs, and pulling invasives from the home of one of Newtown’s most iconic views. A team of roughly 50 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints members Saturday, September 20, spent time during their annual service day working outdoors at the Nettleton Preserve off of Castle Hill Road.
A new proposal for reuse that echoes Fairfield Hills’s origins has come before the authority overseeing that property. On Monday, September 22, Fairfield Hills Authority members and several town officials heard from HealthVest facility CEO Richard Kresch, MD, who discussed plans for a psychiatric hospital. He told authority members that his company acquires distressed facilities or develops new ones. He described 70,000 square foot facility that would host 100 to 125 beds. The company seeks a single story facility on four to five acres in the area of the single family house and Norwalk Hall on the Fairfield Hills campus. A letter provided to Fairfield Hills Authority this week and addressed to “Newtown’s Land Use Agency” dated in August, noted an interest for a behavioral health hospital in Newtown, and proposed one of two scenarios: buying or leasing space at Fairfield Hills.