Editor, The Cheshire Herald:
The School Modernization Committee is a 13-member committee consisting of volunteers from the general public, the Town Council and the Board of Education. Over the past 14 months, since November 2019, Committee members have spent, conservatively, over 120 hours working toward a school modernization proposal. The work has been extensive, thorough, and continues as such.
Committee members have toured schools in four other towns, have met with Cheshire faculty and staff from each of our elementary schools, Dodd and the high school, while also touring all of our schools to see the condition of each facility for themselves. Additionally, there were three RFP Subcommittee meetings and the Options Subcommittee met nine times to work through six different options and 13 different scenarios of ‘’modernizing’’ all our schools over a projected 10–15 years. The Communications Subcommittee has met eight times (and counting) to work on communicating news and information to Cheshire residents. In between all of these subcommittee meetings, out-of-district school tours, in-district school tours and meetings with school faculty and staff, the 13 members of the School Modernization Committee (SMC) have also met as a full committee 27 times (and counting.)
The SMC is due to deliver our proposal by March 1. So in a matter of weeks the entire community will hear even more about the Committee’s recommendation(s) for beginning to ‘’modernize’’ Cheshire schools. The proposal is unlikely to satisfy everyone. But one thing everyone can be assured of is that the SMC started from scratch, studied the issues thoroughly, collected all the relevant data and consulted professionals with extensive knowledge and experience in school renovation/construction.
The work of the SMC has been deliberate, professional, collaborative and transparent. Indeed, the Committee’s work has been a model of what is possible when volunteers come together and work to do what’s best for their community.
But the SMC still needs and wants your input. If you haven’t already, I urge you to follow the work of the SMC on Facebook (www.facebook.com/CheshireSchoolModernizationCommittee), on Twitter @SMCCheshire and on Instagram at smccheshire. You can also find even more information on our website www.cheshirect.org/school-modernization-committee/ and watch our past and upcoming meetings on YouTube, “Cheshire Channel 14.’’
(Note: Jinks represents the Second District on the Cheshire Town Council.)