Trumbull officials seek public's feedback on town's schools

Frenchtown Elementary School in Trumbull 

Frenchtown Elementary School in Trumbull 

Autumn Driscoll

TRUMBULL — Do the town's schools need improvement? Which ones need the most work? How can they be improved?

The Trumbull Board of Education is looking for answers to these and other questions as part of an ongoing district-wide look at school facilities. As part of the plan, the board has posted a survey asking Trumbull residents what issues they wish to see addressed.

"One of the first steps in the process is to gather community input about what, if anything, is lacking in the school buildings and what residents want to see for the future of Trumbull," reads the introduction to the survey. "Before any planning options are developed, or any decisions are made, we want to hear from you!"

Superintendent of Schools Martin Semmel said the survey has been live for about two weeks, and it will remain up until Jan. 17. Because the survey will be up a while longer, Semmel declined to discuss what the response has been to date.

"I believe it is too early to begin discussing how many people have submitted survey results and what the priorities are at this time," he said.

The plan to look at the schools has been in the works for some time. 

In October, representatives of the Hartford-based firm Tecton Architects spoke to the board about their progress in implementing the plan to refurbish the schools. They talked about the work that had been done to date at that point, which included site visits and assessments of all the schools. One part of this was an age assessment of all the school buildings, which showed the average age of a school in Trumbull was 54 years.

Thus, it's not surprising that they also found many of the buildings had problems, including a lack of space at Booth Hill School and poor climate control and a poorly located media center at Madison Middle School.

The survey asks residents, among other things, to identify the school district buildings at which need was greatest. They are also given a list of various criteria — including safety and security, vehicular circulation and parking and sustainability and efficiency — and asked which they see as a priority.

Conducting the survey is one method through which the Board of Education is attempting to get input from the community. Another is by hosting a series of meetings on the project. One meeting already took place, on Nov. 17 at Booth Hill Elementary School. The next will take place on Feb. 2 at Frenchtown Elementary.

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