Norwalk Works to Finalize Plans for New South Norwalk School

Norwalk's Land Use and Building Management Committee will be voting on an agreement to purchase the property at 1 Meadow Street Ext. for a new South Norwalk school.

Norwalk Works to Finalize Plans for New South Norwalk School
A look at the area that would attend the new South Norwalk school. (Courtesy of Norwalk Public Schools)

Plans for a new South Norwalk school are moving ahead this week, after officials announced plans to purchase a site for the proposed school. The city has agreed, in principle, to acquire the property at 1 Meadow Street Ext. for a new neighborhood school.

That agreement is officially before the Common Council’s Land Use and Building Management Committee on Wednesday, June 1 at 7 p.m. The committee will review and discuss the agreement before it votes to send it to the full Common Council for final approval. The council is planning a special meeting on June 6 to vote on the agreement. The city is planning to submit the plans for the South Norwalk school to the state ahead of its June 30 deadline, which allows the project to receive state reimbursement.

“Children in the South Norwalk community deserve a neighborhood school and will finally get one,” Mayor Harry Rilling said in a statement. “After years of setbacks, we never gave up on fulfilling our promise to provide students and parents in South Norwalk with a world-class school in their community.”

Council President Tom Livingston has also voiced his support for the proposed site.

“This has been a long journey but I’m proud that we have been able to overcome numerous hurdles and put forth solutions to deliver a neighborhood school on behalf of the children of South Norwalk,” Livingston said in a statement.

If approved, the site would be transformed into a pre-K through 5th grade school that would hold 682 children.

Council member Darlene Young, who represents South Norwalk as a part of District B, said in a statement that this project is “all about the children of South Norwalk and future generations.”

“It’s been a long time coming, but the fact that students will no longer have to endure long bus rides to and from school and will have a neighborhood school will make a huge impact in their daily lives and in the lives of their families,” she said.

Earlier this month, Norwalk State Senator Bob Duff, along with Stamford State Senator Pat Billie Miller, announced that the state legislature had approved a 60% reimbursement rate for school construction projects in Norwalk and Stamford. The new South Norwalk elementary school, which is budgeted to cost about $76 million overall, would be eligible for this reimbursement rate.

The $76 million agreement includes about $14 million to purchase the Meadow Street Ext. property from its current owners, The Hatch and Bailey Company.

Also this week, the school district is hosting a community workshop on Academic Themes for A New School in South Norwalk on Tuesday, May 31 at 7 p.m. Community members are invited to share their thoughts about what types of academic themes or instructional programs should be considered for the new school.