Board of Ed looking forward with budget
STAMFORD — Board of Education members are meeting tonight to look into the future of Stamford Public School’s budget, despite requests from some that they look into the past.
Tonight at 6:30 p.m., the Board will meet in the Board of Education meeting room on the fifth floor of Government Center to discuss the proposed budget for the 2019-2020 school year, as well as re-prioritize capital projects for the upcoming fiscal year as well.
According to the Board’s list of capital projects, which was ranked by the Planning Board, about $10.54 million in mold-related work is being suggested. This takes up the majority of the $18.22 million proposed capital budget.
Among projects ranked under “tier 5” which is classified as mold-related projects are modular replacements at Newfield Elementary School, bathroom and floor replacements across several elementary and middle schools, air quality improvements across multiple schools, energy efficiency projects, HVAC upgrades and infrastructure renovation at Westhill High School and renovations at Stamford High School.
Parents have asked the district to base their capital project work around the last facilities report of the district in 2009 which pointed out mold and moisture issues in several schools that now have full-blown mold problems.
At the last regular meeting of the Board of Education on Jan. 29, one parent cited the report, asking why a structural engineer was not been hired to look at the old Westover Magnet Elementary School when consultants recommended one be hired to look at the school as “the steel may not be designed to handle the load of the floors and walls.”
“Since it appears little to no action was taken, how can we be assured the Board of Education and the city of Stamford will take appropriate action now?” asked Bridget Curry, a parent of two at Westover. “We need a structural engineer to assess the building. We might find out the building’s about to collapse.”
Since then, Board President Andy George released a letter, to be addressed at the meeting, stating it’s his opinion that the city should look ahead, rather than focusing on a decade-old report.
“The 2009 EMG report contains comments and recommendations on many aspects of all our schools,” George wrote. “There are hundreds of items noted for improvement. It is convenient today to selectively highlight a few and question why they were not addressed over the past decade....While it may be tempting to assign fault, investigating will be complicated and costly. It will not change the current circumstances. We should focus on the present. We should work together, city and school system, to make out construction and maintenance efforts more effective.”
George also said school administration is looking for ways to quickly and adequately identify and address physical deficiencies in the city’s public school buildings.
email@example.com; (203) 964-2265; @erin_kayata