WALLINGFORD — A school board subcommittee may narrow down middle and high school restructuring options next week.
The Board of Education’s Operations Committee is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Monday at Lyman Hall High School.
Last month, consultants from Milone & MacBroom presented six preliminary options to restructure the four schools’ grades and programs. The school board hired the firm as it considers options for handling aging school buildings, declining student enrollment and adapting curriculum to the 21st century.
School Superintendent Salvatore Menzo said Tuesday that committee members can eliminate options next week, but may decline to do so. Other ideas proposed by the board would be considered along with the consultant’s options, he added.
Once the board does narrow the choices, he said, “those options will be put out in a survey to parents and the community to determine which option is considered the most favorable.”
There’s no added cost if the board needs more time to choose an option, Menzo said. The consultant’s contract is based on the scope of work, not a timeline, he added.
A final plan will be shared with Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. and the Town Council.
Roxane McKay, school board chairwoman, said Wednesday she thinks the board has “many, many questions” and wants to hear from the public.
“This is a community decision, not just a Board of Ed one, in my opinion,” she said.
The consultant’s six options are:
1. Maintaining the status quo and addressing the capital needs of all schools with no changes to current programming. Estimated cost: $15.6 million for capital needs and $1.5 million in security upgrades.
2. Renovating the high schools as new, with potential design improvements, and addressing the middle schools’ capital needs. Estimated cost: $128 million, with the town paying $77.6 million after state reimbursement.
3. Renovating all schools to create pathway programming. Dag Middle School and Lyman Hall High School would offer science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, agricultural science, manufacturing, construction, business, and law themes. Moran Middle School and Sheehan High School would offer arts, audio/visual technology, communications, medical and human services themes. Estimated cost: $196.5 million, with the town paying $117.2 million. Cross-town transportation would cost an additional $525,000 to $900,000.
4. Creating townwide schools. Moran would house grades 5 and 6, Sheehan grades 7 and 8 and Lyman Hall grades 9-12. Dag would house central office staff, special education, and alternative and adult education. Estimated cost: $209.2 million, with the town paying $114.4 million.
5. Creating one middle school and two themed high schools. Dag would house offices like in Option 4 and Moran would remain a grade 6-8 middle school. Sheehan and Lyman Hall would be renovated and offer specific programming, like option 3. Estimated cost: $185.2 million, with the town paying $107 million.
6. Creating single townwide middle and high schools. Dag would have offices like in option 4, and Moran would be returned to the town. Sheehan would serve grades 6 through 8 and Lyman Hall would remain a high school. Estimated cost: $119.6 million, with the town paying $59.9 million.
Committee members eliminated the status quo option at the presentation meeting, but Menzo said every option will be discussed Monday.
An online petition had gathered 943 signatures by Wednesday against options that consolidate the buildings.
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