Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Jonathan Law Improvements In The Hands of Milford's Alderman

The Board of Alderman will be voting on the bonding for the Jonathan Law high school addition at its meeting next Monday, July 6th. The meeting will be at city hall and begins at 7:30.

It has been suggested to me that without considerable vocal support for this project it may be doomed. The mayor, who originally committed to carrying out the renovations in phases, has now stated he does not support bonding for the cost of this phase at this time. The Alderman need to hear your voice on this topic, personally at this meeting. Residents can address their comments to the alderman for 3 minutes each. Even if all you say is "please support the bonding for the high school addition" it will help them see there is support among residents for this work to move forward.

We need to get this done. WE NEED PEOPLE TO BE THERE. Get your neighbors to go, bring a friend. Encourage students who have experienced the cramped quarters to attend. Forward this blog to others. Get the ear of West Shore and Harborside middle school parents you know and explain to them the need for this addition. Their children will reap the benefits. This addition is essential if plans for a freshman academy are to move forward - see talking points below.

I understand it is disappointing to Foran parents that the Foran project is not ready to be included in this bonding. I would hope you would still support this need and I expect that "the Law side of town" will be as supportive of the Foran project when it is ready to move forward.

Below are some talking points regarding the Law addition:

JLHS is an old school with limited space and growing needs.
21st Century programming is more hands on/student centered and requires more room.
Every inch of JLHS is being utilized, and then some. Several Special Education teachers are working in small make-shift classrooms that are, in reality, storage spaces. 6 or 7 teachers are teaching "on a cart" and it is anticipated that next year more will be doing so.

The plan calls for much needed storage space in a basement area under the new addition. Right now the main storage area is behind the stage - problematic when events such as plays, the West Shore band concert and Moving Up Celebration are held.

The addition will allow the "Freshman Academy" concept to move forward. This concept allows the 9th grade students to remain together in a central area as a transition into high school, where team teachers have greater flexibility with the flow of time and instruction. The addition also includes the final two science labs which will be used for freshman physical science. This will bring Law's total # of science labs to 10 - needed and equal with Foran (note while our enrollments are relatively equal, Law has been making do with two less science rooms. Two of my children had freshman science on a cart!)

The current concept of "study halls" being held in large spaces (i.e. auditoriums without tables or the cafeteria when available) does not service students well and space is needed for a smaller resource center to accommodate groups of students needing extra help. Addition will allow for this.

Current bid 25% less than expected - a million dollar savings
Bond rates are low, reimbursement rate from the state high now, will be lower next year.

Expected revisions to code regulations will bring need for plans to be redrawn and additional code upgrades will have to be added.

Again, please attend this meeting on Monday, July 6th, 7:30 pm at city hall. Feel free to forward on this blog link by e-mail. Contact me if you have questions. Let me know if you can attend and apologies in advance if you receive any e-mail more than once!

Thank you!
Sue Glennon
One Voice-Milford High Schools PTSA


Peter Spalthoff Independent Candidate For Mayor Supports This Project.

Click Here for Peters Statement.

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