Submitted by Frank Logiudice.
The Middletown City Council overwhelmingly approved two proposals with unanimous votes to name two city buildings after two former and legendary educators from Middletown High School Mr. Jim Bransfield and Mr. Santo Fragilio. Both Bransfield & Fragilio were were popular and well-respected teachers at MHS among the students and staff.
Bransfield taught history at both Middletown High & Woodrow Middle Schools for 30 years as well as a Sports Writer/Columnist for The Middletown Press for 50 plus years as well as the publicist for several organizations. He was also a Freelance Sports Reporter for the Record-Journal Weekly Publications as well and was the public address sports announcer at many events in and around Middletown. Fragilio was the long-time MHS Band Director, Music Teacher and Arts Consultant for the Middletown Public Schools since 1948.
The Baseball Field Press Box at Palmer Field Stadium will be named after Bransfield and his late son Dana which will be known as the "Jim & Dana Bransfield Baseball Field Press Box". The Publics Works Department is currently working on a plaque and there will be a dedication ceremony for it at a future date according to William Russo, the Public Works Department Director.
The Performing Arts Center at MHS will be renamed the "Santo Fragilio Performing Arts Center."
After the City Council voted on the proposal to name the PAC after Fragilio at the April 2nd meeting Councilman Gene Nocera presented a plaque to Mr. Fragilio's niece & nephew Janice & Tim Palmer of Higganum with the resolution Nocera made at the March 5th City Council meeting. After Nocera read the resolution to them he shared his thoughts about Fragilio. "I worked with Santo for probably over 40 years. He was an exceptional man. A mentor personally to myself serving on committees with him and he would always and I said this before but it is worth repeating in his unique way say 'that's great yes it was a wonderful program but how can we do this better?' He would always have that position on performing that it had to be better we always had to look on how we could do things better in everything we do."
Santo Fragilio's nephew Tim Palmer thanked the City Council for naming the PAC after his uncle. Palmer said "I personally like to thank you for naming the Performing Arts Center after Santo. I spent the last six years with Santo and his wife when Marie got sick. I am an athlete. I was not a music person. After six years with Santo and Marco going to concerts I kind of changed all that. Santo was Marie, music and Middletown that was all he talked about. He grew up in Middletown and he loved the school system-the more he could do the better it was. I wish he were here today to see this. He has to be looking down and thanking all these people. I thank you believe me. Thank you very much."
Now that the City Council approved the naming of the PAC after Santo Fragilio the Middletown Public Schools will begin the work of transforming the PAC after him over the summer according to Marco Gaylord the Chairman of the Ad Hoc Naming Committee. In the fall a dedication ceremony will be held at the new Santo Fragilio Performing Arts Center. The details will be announced.