The Police Station
Are there better alternatives than Site 1 and Site 2?
The Committee For Site 1's first and second choices for the school administrative office building, Site 1 and Site 2, require cutting down public woodlands or paving athletic playing fields, both of which options many New Canaanites strongly oppose. But despite this artificial selection offered by the Building Committee, Site 1 and Site 2 are clearly not the best and only choices for housing our school administrators.
In fact, you might ask yourself why the Building Committee has selected and promoted only those sites that force New Canaanites to give up high-profile public woodlands and athletic fields, while it has never once asked the administrators to give up any of their somewhat oversized office plan.
If our administrators could compromise even a little from their demands of four conference rooms and an employee lounge, for outside courtyards and cathedral ceilings, for rooms dedicated only for interviews or for mail or for copying, a whole range of real alternatives suddenly becomes accessible.
The Police Station offers a sensible alternative.
As one example, just down the road from Site 1, away from its busy South Avenue / Farm Road intersection, is the second floor of the Police Station, Town-owned space that has sat vacant for 20 years, intended for school administration use.
This floor, which once accommodated 150 students and teachers, has been deemed by the building committee to have "insufficient" space for 5 administrators and their staff. But a small compromise on demands for specialized spaces makes the police station a viable and appropriately scaled solution.
[Please note: this is the floorplan as it should have appeared in the 3/14/02 New Canaan Advertiser. Apparently, a computer glitch caused this floorplan to appear garbled in our ad.]
- Without altering the walls or floor plan drawn up by the building committee, this space could be rearranged (as shown here) to accommodate special education and human resources - departments not included in prior building committee plans.
- By accommodating special education and human resources in this existing space, the need to lease additional space or build out over the back roof is eliminated, thus making this the LEAST EXPENSIVE of all alternatives considered to date.
- Contrary to Site 1 proponents' claims, emergency vehicles at this location already have a separate parking lot and exit. And the "congestion" at this site pales in comparison to the ongoing traffic waves at South Avenue and Farm Road.
- Reconfiguration of the Police Station parking area can accommodate all parking requirements, while improving traffic flow and pedestrian safety.
- Worth noting: the Committee For Site 1 claims there is not enough room at this location for the "state-mandated allocation of parking spaces for the District Offices." In fact, there is NO STATE MANDATED ALLOCATION. Our Town Planner sets the number of spaces, and this number is negotiable. Plenty of space exists to meet the parking needs of 22 administrators plus visitors.
- Include school administrative offices in the high school renovation, an option actually suggested in the NESC report commissioned by the Building Committee.
- Lease / purchase existing office space in town, where there is currently over 60,000 vacant square feet available.
- Reconfigure and increase the number of parking spaces to accommodate a space-efficient school administrative office building at the Center School parking lot.
Let's use the vacant space that we have
before constructing new buildings
in our parks, woodlands, and playing fields.
Protect our public woodlands.
Protect our school playing fields.
Minimize taxpayer burden.
VOTE NO on March 15th.
Vote NO at New Canaan High School, 12 NOON to 8 PM.