ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT


Stay Connected
ADVERTISEMENT


Farm and future


With one hand Southington is getting rid of an old and outdated school, while with the other hand the town is picking up property that could someday be used to expand a newly updated middle school. It’s all about letting go of the past and planning for the future.

Beecher Street School goes back more than a century, to a time when schools were not thought to need parking at all, and it’s in a very built-up area — while DePaolo Middle School was constructed during the age of the car, when the design ideal for schools was long and low, with plenty of room to grow. Even though the renovation and expansion of DePaolo is well underway, the acquisition of 7.6 acres from the adjacent Pleasant View Stables should guarantee that further needs for space can be accommodated.

While it’s sad to see the last parcel of an old, family-owned farm sold off, it appears that the business was no longer viable. The town had been in talks with the family, but no agreement could be reached before the designs for renovating the two middle schools became final.

Getting rid of Beecher Street was probably inevitable; once the Southington Board of Education found new digs, it was just a matter of time before the old HQ would go on the block. The town might have gotten a bit more for the place last year, but that proposal wasn’t acceptable to all town councilors, and neighbors objected to the size of the project. The winning plan means keeping the old building, with only 12 residential units instead of 30, and so it won approval on an 8-0 council vote.

But one question remains that probably won’t be answered anytime soon. Although the Pleasant View Stables property was bought “first and foremost to preserve open space,” as the town manager has said, he also suggested that the school system, and perhaps the town, have unspecified needs that might eventually trump open space as a use.

Even if the ultimate use of the land remains unclear, though, buying it seems like a prudent move on the town’s part.



Back to Editorials
Top Stories of the Week

Man taken into custody at Sheehan …
WALLINGFORD — Police took a man into custody Thursday afternoon at Sheehan High School. Police said officers responded to the school shortly before 3:30 p.m. … more ...

Missing teen located in Wallingford, man faces multiple charges …
WALLINGFORD — Local police located a missing teen from Massachusetts after a man she was traveling with made a call from a diner in the … more ...

6 things to know about new plan to transform downtown …
MERIDEN — With the deadline for a downtown transformation plan approaching by the end of this year, officials have developed a draft of the plan … more ...

Man robbed at gunpoint in Meriden while walking on West …
MERIDEN — A man was reportedly robbed at gunpoint while walking on West Main Street Monday night, police said. Around 11 p.m. Monday, a man … more ...

Cease-and-desist order against Oakdale Theatre remains in Wallingford …
WALLINGFORD — The cease-and-desist order issued against the Toyota Oakdale Theatre will stand after three motions made by the Zoning Board of Appeals failed Wednesday … more ...

Comments