Don’t Forget: VOTE TONIGHT!

Tonight Wilton takes on one of the most important votes facing town residents–whether or not to approve the Miller-Driscoll Elementary School renovation project.

The M-D Building Committee has developed a plan to comprehensively renovate and upgrade Miller-Driscoll School and a dedicated Wilton Pre-school Services space. Funding for this capital improvement proposal has been projected at $50 million (with a budgeted $6 million state reimbursement, bringing the total cost to the town to $44 million).

Tonight’s Wilton is holding a Special Town Meeting at 7:30 p.m. at the Clune Center at Wilton High School, to review the project and allow residents to ask questions about the project and offer their opinions. Voting will take place following the meeting, and will continue on Saturday, Sept. 27 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., also at the Clune Center.

Please consider coming to tonight’s meeting, or making sure to vote on Saturday.

GOOD Morning Wilton has reported extensively on the proposed plan. To read past coverage visit any of the links below, or visit the project website.


The Case in Support of Miller-Driscoll Renovation (9/15/14)

Miller-Driscoll Renovation Committee Holds Info Session Thursday (9/2/14)

BREAKING: BoS to Bring $44 Million Miller-Driscoll Renovation to Voters (7/22/14)

One Step Closer to Miller-Driscoll Renovation (2/2/14)

CORRECTION: Miller-Driscoll Building Committee Meets Today, Public Welcome (1/14/14)

What’s Happening with Miller-Driscoll Renovations? (10/10/13)

BoS Approves Architect, Engineer for Miller-Driscoll Renovation Project (8/20/13)



OPINION: First Selectman and Bd. of Ed. Chair Urge M-D Renovation Support (9/18/14)

OP ED: Wilton Democrats Urge Support for Miller-Driscoll Renovation (9/17/14)

Letters to the Editor: 5 in Support of M-D Renovation (9/16/14)

Letter: We Support M-D Renovation Plan (9/9/14)

Bd of Education: Notes from the Board Table (9/3/14)

Bd. of Ed.: Why Renovate Miller-Driscoll, and not ‘Build New’ (7/25/14)





    ETP September 19, 2014 at 6:49 am
    Why the rush to borrow? There was no rush to fix the roof or HVAC that caused IAQ issues?
    Why go from a 3.5 million project to a 50 million project in 18 months?
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    ETP September 19, 2014 at 7:03 am
    ETP September 18, 2014 at 6:53 am
    So, for $50,000,000.00 the town gets 15 new preK classrooms, a new kitchen, and gussied up entrance ways. Sensible and informed voters realize there is space at Comstock, previously designed for students, for preK, that new windows cost 500 thousand, that new HVAC and roofing costs 3 million, new wifi costs 1 thousand tops per room, new kitchen equipment costs 200 thousand.
    So where does the rest of the $45,000,000.00 go?
    They show a chart indicating a reduced debt service burden as existing debt is retired. Someone noticed and said, this is not right, we have to borrow more. So they looked around and decided a new town hall campus was a no-go, but MD looked like an opportunity. So instead of fixing the fundamental roof, HVAC issue, they decided to borrow 44 million…
    Why? Simply because cutting taxes is not an option for folks in government…
    Ed Papp
    Become an informed voter…consider viable alternatives.
    Why not build New for 330 per sq ft as other towns have done? Better than spending much more than that and exposing children to toxic materials in the process! Vote smart!
    ETP September 16, 2014 at 7:22 am
    All the literature points to significantly lower construction costs than proposed here in Wilton. A new elementary school built in Alexandria Va for 46 million at 97,000 sq ft. See includes hard and soft costs.
    Please don’t say ” well, we are Wilton, so we must spend more than anyone else.!,
    The Town of Wilton Requires all participants to sign an ethics statement. This is not my requirement, it is a town requirement. Where are they? Are all participants barred from participating in the construction in any way? Don’t act indignant, just answer a tax payers question.
    It is NOT irresponsible to be concerned with TOXIC materials. You can claim safeguards but you cannot claim with absolute certainty that it is impossible. As you state, remediation adds costs not incurred when building new. Why take the chance?
    A BRAND NEW four story building could be built on one of the ball fields at MD using off the shelf plans from the national school design organization avoiding toxic material issues, excessive soft costs. Police headquarters could relocate from their cramped quarters to the old MD site offering increased security as well.
    Yes, it is easy to toss numbers. The tossing starts with a 3 million roofing, HVAC project at MD that suddenly devolved to a 50 million adventure in 3 short years. Why ? You stated doing the project “piecemeal” would cost 42 million…where did that number come from? Are there individual bids for the various steps adding to 42 million or is it a guess? I know Hoffman estimated 500, 000 for the envelope, the roof and HVAC come in at 3.5 million ( less if the roof warranties were called). A school in nearby Fairfield replaced all of its exterior doors and windows for $502,000 see
    I do not understand why you immediately disparage documented costs from known, completed projects while holding firm to the credibility of numbers without bids. Are your numbers based on bids? Wilton has the reputation of spending way too much. Let’s end it now.
    Please answer:
    Where are the signed ethics statements?
    Are current participants barred from participating in the build?
    Why not use Comstock, Gilbert Bennett or Montessori for pre K?
    Why not build new on the MD site and repurpose the existing school?
    Why not realize taxpayers are justifiably concerned with the failure of the town to maintain MD?
    Why not understand taxpayers are concerned with a roofing-HVAC project turning into a 50 million drain?
    Why not consider alternatives to the plan you proposed?
    There was scant info given to taxpayers in the past three years. To have this plan suddenly foisted on the community without presenting alternatives is disturbing.
    There was no rush to fix the roof that lead to IAQ issues, so why the rush to sell this BEFORE all options are revealed.
    You have not properly informed the public and they might make the mistake of voting for this without understanding it’s serious questions and issues.
    ETP September 16, 2014 at 9:24 pm
    Here is a link to another school building project. It is in Mass. Nearby and not that long ago. A brand new High School costing $330 per square foot.
    Mass has a program where districts are encouraged to use stock, proven designs. They are also encouraged to tweak the stock design to avoid the cookie cutter look. Cuts down on construction costs while enabling a custom look. Smart thinking that would have, will save Wilton tons of money if adopted. Let’s educators focus on teaching, not bricks.
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    ETP September 19, 2014 at 7:11 am
    The timeline for this project is 39 months.
    But the fundamental flaws with the building (walls, windows, roof HVAC) could be fixed in six months without disturbing the toxic materials.
    The notion that a 50 million renovation will boost property values is a canard. Darien has several much older schools that have been properly maintained and their property values are holding up better than ours.
    The best way to increase property values is to reduce taxes. The 50,000,000.00 project will raise taxes…but they won’t tell us the amount yet.
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