I encourage Wilton residents to vote in support of the Miller Driscoll Building Project. As both mother to a preschool child and granddaughter to an elderly, longstanding Wilton resident, I deeply understand the need to improve the school’s environs for our entire community. It also makes the most fiscal sense to complete the project as a whole, rather than face inevitable state mandates as old systems fail and do not meet code. If this vote does not go through, our town will be forced to replace systems individually, at even greater cost.
In these times, we must consider safety. Rearranging our elementary school layout will help prevent tragedy as occurred when 26 irreplaceable children and staff were fatally shot at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Traffic around Miller Driscoll is dangerous. Car accidents, particularly for children and the elderly, can be life-threatening. Playgrounds and classrooms need to be relocated. Inadequacies due to road setup and parking create hazardous traffic on both Wolfpit and Belden Hill Rds. This is especially evident during morning rush hour, as these two roads are heavily used by the commuting population.
The Miller Driscoll building doesn’t contain enough space for preschool children, where gym class is held in hallways due to lack of space. The preschool program continues to see an increase in students. Last year, preschool began with 49 students and grew to include 79 by school year end. This year, the preschool started with 56 students. How will we find enough space for a projected final number of 86 students by year end? What about in the years to come?
Major systems such as heating and cooling networks, roof and floor integrity, and electrical and lighting infrastructure, do not meet state codes or are in dire need of replacing. Even if this project is not voted through, these issues will be mandated for replacement anyway. We currently have the lowest possible projected cost basis. If this project is piecemealed, each aspect will cost more individually. Taxes will increase even more.
Our community is known for being supportive of one another, for protecting and advocating for both children and the elderly. We need to continue to do so. For the safety of all children and residents, and for keeping our taxes as low as possible going forward, I urge residents to join me. Vote in favor of the Miller Driscoll Building Project.