Tuesday, September 21, 2021

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Staples High School Construction Underway


Construction has barely begun on the $74 million Staples High School renovation and expansion project and it’s already difficult to recognize the entry area to the school. The first phase of the construction is scheduled to be completed in 2005. Students will continue classes as the work continues around them. WestportNow.com photo

Sunday NY Times: Letter Writer Defends Board of Education

Sundays New York Times includes a letter from a Westporter defending the Board of EducationҒs decision to save money by changing the starting time of Coleytown Middle School in the fall.

The letter, headlined School Board Did Its HomeworkӔ in the Connecticut section from Marjorie Cion, was a follow-up to letters in the newspaper two weeks ago critical of the boards decision.

ғThe June 22 edition of the Connecticut section contained several letters from Westport residents concerning the start time changes in the Westport school system for the next year, she wrote.

ԓI do not believe those letters accurately represented the events leading to the decision to implement those changes.


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WestportNow… and Then: A Look Back at a School Board Meeting in 1883

If you think todays Board of Education meetings sometimes get a bit heated, itҒs nothing new for Westport. The following appeared in the July 14, 1883, issue of The Westporter:

The special meeting of the West Saugatuck school district held on Monday evening was largely attended.

Mr. O. I. Jones was chosen as moderator, the call for the meeting was read by the clerk, after which a set of resolutions were offered by Mr. Edward Wheeler, instructing the District Committee not to hire Mr. Joseph G. Hyatt as a teacher for the ensuing year, whereupon the Committee, Mr. E. A. Nash, stated to the meeting that he had already hired Mr. Hyatt, and had given him a written contract to that effect.

The fun then commenced and the band began to play in good earnest. H. W. Lyon armed with volumes of Blackstone, or some other feller, then came to the front and questioned said committee who admitted that the signing of the contract was two hours after the petition to call the special meeting had been served upon him.

Remarks were then made by B. W. Maples, James and Joseph Hyatt, H. W. Lyon, J. W. Hurlbutt and E. Wheeler, and during some of the remarkspersonalities were thrown around quite looselyחand the moderator was compelled, not only to rap the table with a ferule, and ring the school-bell, but to threaten to adjourn the meeting, before order was restored.


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Staples Groundbreaking: the Jewel in the Crown


Town and school officials turn over first shovel on the new Staples project. WestportNow.com photo

Town officials dipped their shovels into the grass under a pear tree outside the main entrance of Staples High School today and the official renovation and expansion of the school finally got underway.

֓It is the jewel in the crown, said Dan Kail, chair of the Staples subcommittee of the townԒs School Building Committee.

First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell, Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon, Sandra Urist, chair of the Board of Education, and Staples Principal John Brady were among town and school officials on hand for the ceremony.

Landon drew a laugh from the crowd when he began his remarks by saying, I particularly want to thank the Board of Education for giving me the opportunity to be here when this project is completed.Ӕ

The board recently renewed Landons contract despite calls from some unhappy residents that his contract not be extended.

The first phase of the $74 million project is expected to be completed in 2005. Students will continue to go to classes as the construction takes place around them.


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Staples Groundbreaking Set for July 1

Westports School Building Committee has announced it will host a groundbreaking ceremony for the alteration and expansion of Staples High School on Tuesday, July 1, at 4:30 p.m.

The first phase of the $74 million project is expected to be completed in 2005. Students will continue to go to classes as the construction takes place around them. 

Plans call for a three-story, 265,000-sq.-ft. addition that will enable the high school to house 2,000 students. Current capacity is 1,100 students.

Also, 205,000-sq.-ft. will be renovated or expanded. This will consist of auditorium renovations and food service, cafeteria and media/library center expansions.

The new addition will house most of the high school’s major academic functions and educational spaces for after-school continuing adult education. The new administration section will be located at the main entrance.

The program will also include green design aspects, such as photovoltaic cells, and “smart building” concepts, including wired and wireless computer Intranet and Internet networks.


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