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Museum Magnet School A Great Fit For Former Campus

Board should OK West End school proposal

Hartford Courant Editorial

April 09, 2012

We are told the proposal to build a permanent Museum Academy magnet school on the former site of the Hartford College for Women in the city's West End will be hotly contested by some neighborhood residents at this evening's planning and zoning commission hearing. It shouldn't be.

The $32 million project, a preschool-to-Grade 5 academy to be run by the Capitol Region Education Council, should be approved resoundingly, for at least three reasons.

The first is that it will preserve the lovely historic mansions on the property, and enhance the overall campus by getting rid of the junky buildings. And make no mistake, this is the only viable way to save the property: Ask University of Hartford officials, who've been trying to market it for several years.

Second, it provides the kind of school choice that all of the Hartford school reform plans envision.

Last and certainly not least, it becomes a major inducement for young families to live in the neighborhood.

A main objection seems to be traffic, yet it is hard to see how the school will induce more cars or buses. This isn't a new school, it is an expansion of an existing school from 270 to 435 students. At the same time, scores of University of Hartford workers and graduate students will move elsewhere. CREC officials plan to better utilize buses and have all drop-offs on the property. It's hard to imagine this making traffic worse.

City officials raised a number of site-plan issues when the project was first proposed; CREC has responded to all of them. There is no reason not to approve it.

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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