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Woodland School.... Hmmmm

I am amazed by the elaborate 60.9+ expense for an elementary school.
Why can't we build a practical school for our children to LEARN not build an elaborate PLAYGROUND?
Is it really necessary to have art halls, learning areas on every floor, two stage areas and a new soccer field for 3-5th graders?
I have two sons that have gone to Woodland. They obviously got an education without all the extras...
I'd rather see the school be built to practicality needs as well as find a way to ease the pain of traffic jams at Stacey.... The worst place to try and park and wait for your child!!
Just my opinion. I can't be the only one that thinks this project is overwhelming out of control.
Plus if the Town gets away with these easements on those poor residents then where will they go next?

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MilfordMomof3 January 29, 2014 at 08:33 AM
I think Woodland definitely needs to be rebuilt. But I wouldn't argue that they could probably save some money and take out some of the extras. Stacy is bad, but doable. I picked up there for my older kids daily. As long as you get there early(or a few minutes late), no issue. I think people need to realize that money needs to be spent to update the schools before people will want to move to town and put their kids in school here. Milford can't compete with the money towns around with the newer schools and it hurts the homeowners and town.
Jennifer January 29, 2014 at 10:58 AM
You're not alone in feeling like the school is not being built "practically". I completely agree that we NEED a new school, but we don't NEED a school that is filled with millions of dollars of "extras", and that still maintains complaints of the woodland school teachers (they did complain about learning areas in halls, but yet they designed them into the new school, complained about kids having to play basketball at courts "in lanes of traffic" yet that is also where the new ones are. Complained about "open concept learning" yet designed open group learning into the new design.) We need a building with properly sized classrooms, a library (which this building does not have-it has two less than classroom sized "book collections") ONE space that will hold ALL students (not a cafetorium AND a gymnasium that do! A cafe that holds 1/2 the students and a gym that holds the entire population would be perfectly appropriate-since that's what is designed into the rest of the schools in this town), a school that actually isn't already "out-sized" by the time it's built (the LTEP on the Woodland Committee website (which hasn't been updated since 2009) estimated 1001 students for this school, yet it only holds 985?!?) etc. etc. Again I'm 100% in favor for a new school, but you don't need a new school that is designed to be pretty, we need one that is FUNCTIONAL. --Milford CAN compete with other towns, if we gave the TEACHERS the funding and the resources. Those resources, while housed WITHIN the building are NOT "THE BUILDING". If a parent chooses not to move here because our school isn't "pretty enough" but our PERFORMANCE is superior then it shows that they aren't really in it for the right reasons. Cut the "extras" in the building (give them properly sized classrooms, a library, a gym, a cafe, and computer rooms) and fund more programs and technology for the teachers and students. No child ever went to college because their school was "pretty' or it has "less traffic problems", they went to college and did well because their school CURRICULUM did what it was supposed to do!
Amazed by Milford January 29, 2014 at 01:38 PM
Jennifer, you said it even more elequently than I could have imagined! Thank you.
New Milford Mother January 29, 2014 at 04:52 PM
I'm missing the purpose of a school library. Most school systems are actually moving toward e-books/ iPad learning - keeping up with technology. Smaller sized rooms with books available seems to be a move in that direction, which makes perfect sense to me. Also, arts are not "non-educational". Art & music are just as important as any other form of education. As a matter of fact, you'd be hard pressed to find a reputable architect firm to design your plans with NO art education, since there's a substantial amount of graphic design involved. Education does not mean simply teaching reading, writing and arithmetic.
Gun Rights January 29, 2014 at 05:17 PM
Where can someone find the plans for this proposed school? I for one hope they did not overlook security.
Amazed by Milford January 29, 2014 at 07:58 PM
Exactly my point New Milford Mother. I want to see a school built to accommodate today's needs. Technology for all of Milford Schools. I agree that art & music are key, but they don't need to stage areas and multi level art rooms. Education unfortunately in my opinion of Milford Public is that they spend less time teaching, and more time parenting. I have had two children go through Stacy, and homework is a joke. Text books sit on their desks never cracked open. I never see my children bring home any text book throughout the year. These children are pampered, spoiled and well baby sat. Just my opinion. And yes if anyone is curious very proud of my straight A students!
New Milford Mother January 29, 2014 at 09:27 PM
I did not mean to imply that you were not proud of your children, Amazed. I have no doubt that you are a proud parent, and I would never want to imply judgement on anyone's parenting. I just seem to have a differing opinion on the importance of showcasing arts & music. In my life, I have used more of the skills I learned through the arts in my adult life than most of my other classes. Most of my leadership qualities, work ethic, and critical thinking skills came from music & the arts. If not for the stages at my schools growing up, I would not be able to be confident giving a presentation, or speaking/performing in front of large groups. The academic portion of school came easily to me, I was lucky. I retain information fairly easily - I struggled more with social and communication skills. For me, arts and music were lifelines. They were essential for a well-rounded education. My inclination is that there are many people like me in the world. I do not have children that have gone through the elementary/middle/high school levels in Milford. I can not speak from experience about the curriculum - however the curriculum and the physical building are two very separate issues. The building should be designed with a forward-thinking mindset. The reality is that technology will replace books at some point - likely before another school will be built. The school should be set up to accommodate that transition. Maybe I'm highly sensitive to a lack of support for arts/music. Growing up with hallways lined with sports trophies/banners, with very little appreciation shown to the hard work of the artists and musicians of the school was a tough pill to swallow. I was lucky to grow up in a district that supports the arts, and had a wonderful arts program - the accomplishments often went unnoticed or celebrated. I would hate for the next generation to face that same stigma.
Cotuit Dreams January 29, 2014 at 09:33 PM
Wondering how many commenters bothered to come to the open house/tour of Woodland tonight where many of these questions and concerns were addressed.
Amazed by Milford January 30, 2014 at 06:21 AM
New Milford Mother, thank you for your apology. It was not necessary, I didn't think your previous comment was insulting at all. Sorry if I gave you that impression. I also agree with you that the focus on sports, especially in this town is over zealous as well. I agree the arts & music are very much a key part of a balanced education in social skills. My point however was the over kill for 3-5 graders. Then I thought, if all these thrills go through for this school how will we keep their interests up and expectations when the get over to Stacey? It's like giving them an IPad for Xmas this tear and then giving them a home computer to carry everywhere. They'd be looking at us like we've lost our minds.
Cappuccino February 01, 2014 at 10:18 AM
If all posters are sincere with their objections they MUST contact the Town Meeting members before this passes. Town Clerk's office has that list. Bad things happen when good people don't get involved. A phone call or two will make a difference. The committee should have had fewer school/ town personnel and some regular common sense people. Let's do this CORRECTLY !
Cappuccino February 01, 2014 at 10:31 AM
Gun Rights, I wouldn't want my 10 year old trapped on the third floor during an emergency.
Kim Clark February 01, 2014 at 10:52 AM
Having attended the open house at Woodland, I was surprised to learn that they are planning to air condition the entire building. I was even more surprised to learn that they are planning to install an artificial turf field for an elementary school. I wish I had asked what surrounding towns have done with their open classroom schools. It seem that this building committee won't budge from their three-story design. Aside from cities where land is difficult to find, are there 3 story elementary schools in towns surrounding Milford.
Cappuccino February 01, 2014 at 11:00 AM
There are no three story buildings around here for this grade level or even older children. The present school was designed from the onset in 1976, with half open classrooms (that could be reconfigured into self contained/traditional space) and half conventional self contained classrooms. Now they say there only four conventional classrooms. Who messed this up?
Cappuccino February 01, 2014 at 11:05 AM
I want a safe, serviceable school and traffic controlled environment for our students. Reuse, recycle, repurpose. I'm contacting the Town Meeting Members by phone to express my sad frustration.
Amazed by Milford February 01, 2014 at 11:56 AM
Thank you all for your comments. I hope Cappuccino is right that people will call Town Meeting members and voice their concerns. I don't think any of us dispute needing a new school, the issue is to what extreme are they going to carry it out at.
Gun Rights February 02, 2014 at 10:28 AM
I think you hit the nail on the head Amazed. Everyone knows the school doesn't meet our current needs, but why not renovate/add to the existing or find a new site for the school?
Cappuccino February 10, 2014 at 12:06 PM
I can't stand it!! This quote is from the Patch: The new school will feature several “green building” features that reflect the Town of Milford’s commitment to environmental sustainability, and the goal is to achieve a LEED Silver certification. They are destroying TWO schools and want to call it "green". What a snow job. From your mouth to God's ear. The plan entails abandonment of Middle School East and demolition of Woodland. This is NOT an Eco-friendly approach. Reuse, recycle, refurbish in a time of economic uncertainty would be better. There are townspeople who live paycheck to paycheck. The Town Meeting Members should consider ALL whom they represent, not just the politically connected. Nothing portends the future than the past. The old St. Mary's Elementary Building was left to the elements, the same goes for the old Stacy school. Milford barely maintains it's occupied schools. We can envision what will become of Middle School East. And I wonder why the committee didn't have an open house of THAT building. Everyone wants that "new school smell". Unfortunately, like a new car that "new" wears out before the payments do! Reuse, recycle, reclaim, restore, repurpose. NOT Ravage & ruin. This throw away society is out of control.
K. February 10, 2014 at 11:54 PM
Here is all you need to know about the town of Milford and schools. When faced with a situation of either paying teachers at MHS for additional services in support of existing AP classes for which the teachers weren't getting paid, and creating a new artificial turf football field, the town went with the field. The idea was that MHS could host tourneys and the like. Unfortunately the field was destroyed and had to be fixed. To date it hasn't been a huge money maker. It's okay though, all those extra AP classes are gone. The point is, the Town LOVES TO SPEND YOUR MONEY!! That's it. They don't have to be smart about it, or make reasonable decisions, they just have to spend your money because they have been allowed to do this by the townspeople. The people driving the bus while you sleep in back...have no business driving a bus.
K. February 10, 2014 at 11:57 PM
Oh, and someone vote for a weight room for those kids at MHS. I saw the some of the larger players over the summer when dropping my kid off at day camp. Really, get those kids a serious weight room. 200-230lb Varsity Linemen is not okay.

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