City school officials will hold a community forum on Wednesday to begin discussing plans to overhaul Weaver High School in a projected $150 million, five-year renovation.
The proposal, addressed only vaguely in public so far, would require major construction on the Granby Street campus to accommodate at least three academies within Weaver, schools spokesman David Medina said.
The forum, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Weaver auditorium, is the first of two meetings billed as an initial conversation with the community about the project. Wednesday's meeting will be directed at parents of students who attend Weaver or elementary schools in the area.
A second forum, scheduled for Dec. 9 at the same time and place, will be geared toward Weaver alumni and neighborhood residents and merchants. Mayor Pedro Segarra, Assistant Superintendent Christina Kishimoto and schools Chief Operating Officer Alexander Nardone are among the officials expected at the meetings.
In the past, Superintendent Steven Adamowski has said he envisions building a new Weaver High School on the large North End property while classes are in session, and afterward, possibly demolishing the existing, nearly windowless facility that was built in 1974 and has been described as prison-like.
Weaver, one of the state's lowest-performing schools, currently houses academies in the culinary arts and journalism. The campus is near the University of Hartford.
Board of education member Elizabeth Brad Noel said the building "clearly needs some repair," and that it was important for the community to have its say. At several Weaver class reunions she has attended, Noel said, many alumni have expressed concern about Weaver's future.
"There's a sense of tradition and loyalty to the school," said Noel, a counselor who was head of Weaver's guidance department for more than two decades before retiring in 1992.
Weaver originally opened in the 1920s on Ridgefield Street. That building is now home to M.L. King School.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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