A proposed school building project that would see Mansfield outfitted with two new elementary schools was met with mixed reactions Tuesday as Annie E. Vinton Elementary School parents discussed the need for them.
Jackie Liapes, the mother of a Vinton second and fourth-grader, said she was still on the fence as to what the town should do with its schools.
“There’s pros and cons to each [option],” Liapes said. “I’m worried about the tax dollars going up being a Mansfield taxpayer," she said, adding "I’m kind of leaning toward the renovations just because of the cost. I can’t believe all the money they’ve spent up until this point and this is just research and they haven’t even fixed anything yet," she said.
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Other parents said they appreciated Vinton's small school environment and worried about what the construction of two new elementary schools would do to the community.
Earle Logsdon, the parent of a pre-schooler, said he would prefer to see the schools renovated.
“I’m not clear on the motivation for [building new schools]," Logsdon said. [The schools] don’t seem that bad that renovations wouldn’t do them good. I like the small school setting that we have now," he said. "That’s what attracted us to come here."
Vinton parent Gregory Washko echoed Logsdon's sentiments in a post on Mansfield-Storrs Patch Wednesday.
Washko, who has two sons that attend the school, had this to day:
"I love the place and its small and familiar character (while completely understanding it needs some TLC). A consolidation of students and teachers in new buildings is unnecessary and would greatly damage that character. The cost savings projected will not be realized by any stretch of the imagination as spending and continued lack of fiscal restraint will go on as it always does with politically motivated agendas."
Vinton mom Korina Moss, said she'd like to see the town take a step back for a moment.
“I just think we need to see how the downtown goes first,” Moss said. “I am optimistic that it’s [Storrs Center] going to be great," she said, "but I just think let’s slow it up and do one thing at a time."
Moss, who said she's usually one to embrace change, doesn't find it as inviting when it comes to the community's schools.
“As a parent, I feel like the schools are so good, I’m afraid for them to change," she said. “Not only are the teachers and the staff and the principal fantastic, but everybody knows everybody and that’s such a secure thing when your child goes to school,” she said.
Moss, who has a child in third grade, said that while she realized some aspects within the schools needed attention, she wasn't sure if a complete overhaul was necessary.
"I feel like if it’s not broke, don’t fix it," she said.