Last week, Mayor Dan Drew sent a letter to the building committee assigned to the task of exploring the possibility of building a new middle school in Middletown. The letter insisted that the potential sites the committee are exploring "are not feasible."
The new middle school would consolidate grades 6-8. Currently, sixth graders attend Keigwin Middle School, and seventh and eighth graders attend Woodrow Wilson Middle School. Woodrow Wilson served as a former high school for Middletown, and the facility is in need of constant attention because of its age.
The building committee has suggested that potential sites include those directly across the street from the current Woodrow Wilson Middle School at Pat Kidney Field and the Woodrow Wilson Track.
Drew insists that those sites "are not available" because the are a part of the 21st Century Bond project for city parks. For the record, the Woodrow Wilson track, the tennis courts and basketball courts have been ignored for years by the city despite being in deplorable condition. The track and the tennis courts cannot be utilized for athletic events by the school because they are filled with potholes and crumbling surfaces.
City schools and school fields are considered city property.
The building committee, which was formed by the Common Council, fired back immediately stating that the mayor's opinions were "not binding" based on the Common Council resolution.
The committee suggests that the parks project at the site should be delayed and become part of a comprehensive plan to build the school and rejuvenate the park. The committee suggested that in a comprehensive plan, because the park upgrade would be part of the school project, it would receive a 30% reimbursement by the state. In addition, the committee reasons that the construction of a new school across the street from the current school would allow the building of the school without disruption to the school population.