Letter: Security Expert Calls M-D Renovation ‘Not Negotiable’

To the Editor,

Please accept this letter as my expression of support for the general renovations and security enhancements proposed towards Miller-Driscoll School. I reach this conclusion from a dual perspective that of a town resident/taxpayer and as long term law enforcement professional.

My husband and I have resided in Wilton since 1987. Our son attended Wilton Public Schools. His educational base and the cultural benefits derived from this system allowed his matriculation into college and graduation with honors. Wilton schools have been the best! We continue to live in and love this community and in spite of no longer having children in the school system we strongly believe in its continued quality.

As a Wilton Security Task Force member and participant in the Miller-Driscoll building committee, I am dedicated to the security, safety, success and care of our students and to the teachers and support staff who work with them. Part of the design team goal is to develop the safest campus possible at Miller-Driscoll. Considerable work has gone into that effort identifying current site-specific vulnerabilities, both exterior and interior that need be addressed. These range from consolidation of entries and new vehicular routes to play areas relocated away from public access, a streamlined façade providing better “natural and mechanical surveillance” of the campus to a mass communication system and hardened interior components. We must provide for students of all ages a guarantee of optimal learning experiences and safe environment. The proposed building is designed to enhance learning opportunities providing flexible spaces that will promote current and evolving educational practices for years to come. The proposed campus design will serve the school and community by improving traffic flow and emergency access.

The Tai Soo Kim Partners design meets and in some instances exceeds areas of critical compliance; school safety infrastructure standards mandated by Connecticut State that a district must address to be eligible for a school construction grant.

As a professional with 25 years in federal law enforcement and an additional seven with state homeland security, I view enhancements proposed for Miller-Driscoll as not negotiable. They are simply required. Security measures incorporated from the onset into the renovation plan is the most effective and efficient way of implementation. This is my expert opinion.

In conclusion, while we face financial challenges I fully support and thank the efforts of the Miller-Driscoll Building Committee and Tai Soo Kim in providing a comprehensive and holistic design resulting in a modern, healthy and critically as important, safe and secure Miller-Driscoll. The renovation proposal will benefit not only the students but the greater Wilton community at large. Let us all move forward in nurturing our valued resources–our children, our schools…in the safe environment that this day and age demand.

Please on Sept. 27 vote and encourage others to vote “yes” in support of the Miller-Driscoll project.


Terrie Schwartz