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New School Project:
Strategic Facilities Committee:
January 2018 Press Release:
At its November meeting, the Brookfield Board of Education voted to hire Tecton Architectural Services to conduct a building conditions study of all four schools. This study will be the foundational work in establishing a long term plan for developing a detailed 10 year Capital Improvement Plan, but more notably as the basis for initiating the plans for how the Board of Education and town will determine a path forward regarding the elementary school buildings. Superintendent, Dr. John Barile, explained his eagerness to collaborate with the architects. “Beginning with an assessment of our existing facility conditions will establish a baseline of needs for our schools. Armed with this information, the Committee, educators and the community can thoughtfully consider future options for our facilities and programs”, Barile stated. The Strategic Facilities Steering Committee overseeing the facilities, enrollment and grade configuration study consists of Ms. Eve Sturdevant who chairs the Committee, bringing her wealth of project management and experience on BOE Facilities Committee to the project. Sturdevant stated, “The Committee is focused on student needs and designing optimum facilities that will remain optimal for years to come.”
For years, the Board of Education and community members have discussed addressing enrollment and facility needs, including a more recent 2015 viability study of Huckleberry Hill Elementary School. However, facing fiscal constraints since the 2008 economic collapse and having completed the renovation of the high school in 2007, the Board of Education has waited to pursue this project. Now, with improved fiscal controls firmly in place, the Board of Education is eager to embark on enhancing facilities for their students.
The updated Committee is comprised of a broad range of community stakeholders including parents, the Board of Education, Board of Finance, Board of Selectmen and the Municipal Building Committee. In addition to Sturdevant and Barile, Joy Greenstein, Debbie Brooks, Christina Zimmerman, Paul Checco, Josh Flowers, Paul Loftus and Susan Slater are serving on the Committee. A public forum is scheduled for March 27th at Brookfield High School. The purpose of this forum is for Tecton Architects to present its building conditions study findings of all of the schools and to seek input from community members on the future ideas for elementary school design. Internal focus group meetings have already taken place where information was gathered from teachers, custodians, administrators and other school employees. “We hope that, through our process of garnering information and sharing progress with the public, this project will bring the community together with a sense of purpose as we develop our path forward,” stated Colette Sturm, Board of Education Chairman.
Superintendent John Barile stated, “This Committee recognizes the importance of their task. The decisions made will impact Brookfield for decades. Therefore, it is critical that we hear from many stakeholders and analyze the facts regarding facility & land viability, fiscal & enrollment projections, and optimum educational programming for the long term future of Brookfield.” There has been long standing discussion to move the fifth grade students, currently educated at Whisconier Middle School, to a more traditional elementary school setting. “All viable options for program and facilities planning will be considered by the Steering Committee”, stated Paul Checco, Municipal Building Committee member.