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Some Southeast Parents Don't See Need for New School Buildings

Mansfield officials are considering whether to build two new elementary schools, consolidating the three existing schools, sequentially over a multi-year period.

The Mansfield School Building Project debate has been going on for years.

Should the town build new schools? Renovate its existing buildings? Make repairs as necessary?

The past few years have witnessed a community divided due to personal feelings about the need for repairs vs. the need for new buildings.

At Southeast Elementary School Monday, parents who were willing to voice their opinion on the topic, said they were just fine with the schools as they stand today.

Chris Petersen, the father of a Southeast kindergarten student, told Mansfield-Storrs Patch that those who believe the town's only option is to build new schools, "ought to get their priorities straight."

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“I believe that we ought to work with what we have and I also believe that the tax-and-spend Democrats should think about the taxpayers as much as the children,” Petersen said.

“I believe that these schools are very serviceable. Yeah okay, they [the buildings] need some repairs, but let’s do the repairs at a substantial savings," he said, adding, “I think the students will be well-served with a remodeling project, rather than completely new buildings."

A father of two school-age children who requested anonymity because he is the husband of a school employee said, overall, he "kind of like(s) how it is now."

As the parent of a Southeast pre-schooler and first grader, the man said it wouldn't sit well with him if the project went to referendum and Southeast was not considered as a site for a new school.

"[Southeast] is a central hub," he said. "You have the ball fields right here, the soccer field's just down the street a little bit and it’s between UConn and Willimantic so it is central hub which is nice,” he said.

kevin October 04, 2012 at 03:46 PM
If this crazy plan happens we'll all think we live in million dollar homes when we get our tax bill.
GregoryRobertSamuels October 04, 2012 at 03:48 PM
I have yet to read a single comment that actually supports the proposed school building project...am I wrong? Are there Mansfield parents and tax payer out there that that support this plan?
ric hossack October 04, 2012 at 05:18 PM
You are correct, Greg, in the five meetings I attended not one parent said to go forward. The taxpayers of Mansfield will get the shaft. And for those claiming that the logical reason for building two perfectly good schools by tearing down two perfectly good schools is "for the children" are willing to pass this massive debt onto our children and grandchildren.
GregoryRobertSamuels October 04, 2012 at 05:25 PM
There is something else going on here...we don't need to buy land when we have land available. There is some hidden agenda that's pushing this.
ric hossack October 04, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Yes the hidden agenda is the town's desire to convert one of the elementary schools to a public safety complex, police and fire protection. Southeast has been deemed the target because of its location. The council has not had the guts to say this or to plan for renovating any building for this purpose. They have put it on hold until our town manager can rework the numbers, trying to limit the tax exposure by delaying the construction timeline. Why not work toward the goal of renewing our schools? Certainly a citizen based advisory group could accomplish this goal in a lot less time and money than anything proposed by town management or their high priced consultants !

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