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School Board Delays Vote on Fairfield Ludlowe High Expansion 'Ed Specs'

The discussion will be picked up at the next regular meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 26.

The Board of Education delayed the vote on educational specifications for the Fairfield Ludlowe High School expansion project Tuesday prior to the adoption of the 2013-14 budget.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. David Title told the board that the proposed project would cost between $8 million and $23 million -- $8 million to expand the school and replace the windows and $23 million to address additional building deficiencies.  

The minimum work that must be done is expand the cafeteria, add classroom space, and replace the windows energy-efficient units, Title said.

If approved by all town bodies, two science labs would be built on top of the expanded cafeteria. Another four general purpose classrooms would be added to the high school.

The school will need the extra space as student enrollment is currently 10.8 percent over its 1,400-student design capacity and is projected to be 22.7 percent over the capacity by the 2016-2017 school year, according to the educational specifications and project outline drafted for the board.

The full, $23 million plan includes the work above plus the replacement of the roof, relocation of the teachers lounge to free up additional classroom space, relocation/enhancement of the senior lounge, renovation of student lavatories, and the addition of lockers.

"We have to decide what level of ed specs we want to forward to the town," Title said.

Board member Sue Brand said she has never seen project options go before the board like this.

"We don't try to do what a building committee does, and this is what that is," she said, referring to the proposed project outline distributed to the board.

Paul Fattibene moved to postpone the vote.

"There's a space need we have to address, but the more pressing issue is with the budget right now," he said. "Expansion is required, but the project can be impacted by our budget decision."

But board member Perry Liu said he felt the board needed to have the conversation, and it was "apropos" that it was on the same agenda as the budget vote.

"We're talking about adding $8 to $23 million to a building while also talking about cutting programs...this is a fault of not dealing with population," he said.

"The board has not had a real conversation."

With the vote to postpone -- which turned out to be unanimous -- the conversation will be continued at the school board's next regular meeting, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at the Board of Education Conference Room (501 Kings Highway East).

fairfield newcomer January 31, 2013 at 10:38 PM
Are you serious about the parents spending on water, detergent, and different clothes, how about having some respect for the people who help to pay the bills instead of the nasty sarcasm and if it's not sarcasm you need to have your head examined.
fairfield newcomer January 31, 2013 at 10:51 PM
You might also want to address people leaving Fairfield because of the taxes, in my case a single person who sold to a family with children, my property went from a paying taxes and not having any kids in the schools to a property that now has 3 kids @ $14,000+ per child, around $42,000.00 to educate these children, the town was ahead by about $10,000.00 when I lived there and it is now a $32,000.00 deficit, Fairifeld was to the better when I owned the property but the town ignores the reality of that fact.
Igor February 01, 2013 at 05:02 PM
I'm all for improvements and/or maintenance. I am not against spending money to give our children a better education. What don't like is the board of ed dictating how the money is spend. It seems like to never ends up where it's suppose to go and then they are back with their hands out again. There needs to be a better understanding of all the issues and alternatives from all points. Not just the parents but the citizens without children also. We all share this town. We can all proster or we can all go down with the ship. It's our choice.
momof3 February 01, 2013 at 09:02 PM
Ludlowe was built in 1949. It was renovated before it reopened as a high school in 2003. It is already over capacity. I am all for being practical. I am curious, though, what is your practical solution? It isn't as if there is room at Warde; there are space issue there as well.
LMT February 04, 2013 at 03:44 AM
Okay people, here's the situation as I see it at ludlowe. Window are opened in the middle of winter because its uncomfortably hot in some rooms and students cannot concentrate! Classroom climates are controlled down town! It each room had a thermostat that would help to not throw money out the window..literally! The school ventilation system has never worked properly resulting in increased sickness. The building is old, coupled with the fact that it has been added onto so many times and lets not forget that the lowest bidders get the contracts and therefore lots of things are not done correctly! The overcrowding is out of control and a serious safety issue. Serious Instructional time is lost due to teachers having to change classrooms which means extra set up time and students arriving to class late trying to make their way through the crowded, narrow halls. On another note, ask yourself about all the money wasted at central office, from the rental of the beautiful office space on kings hwy to all of the unnecessary highly paid administrative staff and the cell phones that tax payers pay for when some teachers don't have books needed to teach or proper technology.

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