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Hartford Schools: New Community Task Force To Consider Weaver High Renovation

By VANESSA DE LA TORRE

March 29, 2011

HARTFORD A delayed proposal to renovate Weaver High School is expected to get back on track this year, presuming that the costly project gains "strong support from the neighborhood," Superintendent Steven Adamowski said.

In an attempt to build a consensus, the school system and the Blue Hills Civic Association have formed the North End Education Task Force, comprising parents, school administrators, teachers, students and community leaders. The group will contemplate a "new" Weaver and what that school should resemble if it is renovated by 2016, as Adamowski hopes.

The group will begin meeting next month and is scheduled to offer its recommendations by early October, Adamowski told the board of education last week.

Among the details to consider is whether the low-achieving Weaver, once a comprehensive high school to generations of North End residents, will continue to be divided into separate academies such as culinary arts as part of reform efforts.

The board could then vote on the renovation plans in December, followed by a city council vote in January, Adamowski said.

If approved, the school system would then submit a school construction grant application to the state by June 2012. The project would depend heavily on state funding.

Under plans presented last December, school administrators had described an overhaul that could cost up to $150 million and turn the nearly windowless, 370,000-square-foot building on Granby Street into a light-filled facility with specialized academies in culinary arts and hospitality, health sciences and possibly architecture.

But some residents had criticized the projected cost and the perceived lack of community suggestions about the redesign. That criticism led to Adamowski's decision earlier this year to delay the proposal.

Last week, however, Adamowski backed away from the earlier estimates.

"No dollar figure will be attached to the project until the task force has completed its deliberations," he said. "We are reaching out to the community for more in-depth direction and planning."

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
     
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