Superintendent Unveils $54.4M School Budget

by Sally E. Bahner | Feb 5, 2016 2:26 pm

Sally E. Bahner Photo School Superintendent Hamlet Hernandez presented the Fiscal Year 2017 to the Board of Education Wednesday evening. In simple terms, he is looking for a 2.25 percent increase over last year’s total of $53,230,000. The amount represents $1,197,520, which would bring the anticipated request to $54,427,520.

This is the largest portion of the overall town budget.

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Hornets Win on Buzzer Beater

by Bill O'Brien | Feb 2, 2016 7:49 am

Bill O'Brien Photo It wasn’t the prettiest performance of the year, but it sure had an exciting ending; in fact the ending lasted a long 30 feet.
The Branford boys basketball team played host to the North Haven Indians last Friday, and scoring for the most part was at a premium.

Bill O'Brien Photo North Haven led 7-2 after the first quarter before Branford got some momentum scoring 13 in the second quarter to go up 15-12 at the half. At that time, the Branford Dance Team took to the floor. 

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Four Architectural Firms Vie for Walsh School

by marcia chambers | Jan 20, 2016 3:22 pm | Comments (1)

Marcia Chambers Photo The town’s building commission (pictured) last night approved four out of eight architectural and engineering firms for upcoming interviews regarding designs for a renovated and expanded Walsh Intermediate School.

School Superintendent Hamlet Hernandez announced on Dec. 9 that the town was preparing to send out Requests for Qualifications (RFQ) for the design of Walsh, officially starting the long-awaited process for changes to the school.

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Divided RTM Approves $88.2M Walsh School Project

by marcia chambers | Jan 14, 2016 3:01 pm

Marcia Chambers Photo The Republican majority on the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) last night approved $88.2 million to bond the impressive makeover of the Walsh Intermediate School. It was a vote that came without unanimity because of Democratic concerns about oversight and accountability in what is the largest building project in the town’s history. Typically the RTM does not act without a recommendation from its committees. Last night it did.

In the end 17 Republican voted in favor, nine Democrats abstained and one voted no. In abstaining the Democrats voiced concern that the current five-member building commission, now officially deemed the school building committee under state education statutes, was not even complete. Two members have yet to be appointed; their identities are unknown. Questions were also raised about the ability of the commission to handle multiple building projects.

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Costs Outlined for Major Building Projects

by marcia chambers | Jan 11, 2016 11:19 am

Marcia Chambers Photo Two Representative Town Meeting (RTM) committees (pictured) weighing the $88.2 million price tag for the Walsh School renovations have agreed to take more time to decide on the town’s largest building project in history. Besides the Walsh costs, the committees heard for the first time about a projected $25.5 million for four other town projects, including the community house-senior center and a new public works garage.     

The Walsh project was initially fast-tracked to the RTM, the town’s legislative body as education officials pressed to get a complicated package to the state by the end of June so that the process of funding reimbursement to the town gets underway. But after a three-hour meeting last week, the two RTM committees, Ways and Means and Education, postponed their vote. They unanimously re-referred the Walsh financing issue, saying it would be heard either at or before the full RTM meeting this Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Fire Headquarters. The item is on the RTM agenda and a full presentation of the Walsh plan is expected. 

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Board of Finance Approves Largest Project in Town’s History

by marcia chambers | Jan 5, 2016 10:36 am | Comments (1)

With Permission Saying the $88.2 million renovation, expansion and transformation of the Walsh Intermediate School was the largest bonding appropriation the town has ever made, the Board of Finance (BOF) last night unanimously approved the school project.  It is expected to be completed in 2019.

By voice vote, the six-members of the BOF, which has been involved in the project’s development from the outset, took the first required financial action to set Walsh on its way. It recommended the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) adopt their resolution. The RTM Education and Ways and Means committees will meet in special session Wednesday to act on the resolution. The full RTM will meet on Jan 13 for a final vote.

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Town Meetings Fast-Tracked for Walsh School Construction

by Diana Stricker | Jan 4, 2016 8:34 am

With Permission A proposal to spend $88.2 million to renovate and expand Walsh Intermediate School appears to be on the fast track. Commissions, boards and committees are scheduled to discuss and possibly approve the proposal during the next 8 working days.

In a letter dated Jan. 2 and sent to town officials, legislators and members of the Board of Education (BOE), school Superintendent Hamlet Hernandez said educators look forward to working with town leaders to bring the Walsh project to fruition. 

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BOE Recommends Hybrid Option for Next Gen Walsh

by Sally E. Bahner | Dec 18, 2015 10:04 am

With Permission The Board of Education presented the town with a holiday gift Wednesday night: Its recommendations for design and educational specifications for the Walsh Intermediate School based on the feasibility study done by DTC/Perkins Eastman of Stamford. The cost to the town is about $55 million.

Throughout the discussions, the board has favored Option 3, a hybrid option that includes a new two-story academic wing and retains the current gyms and pool. And that is what they recommended. It was noted that this option would ensure the best safety for students during construction and provide enough space to accommodate classroom shifts during construction. Click here for details about the other options.

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