Beecher: A Better Tomorrow
Here in Woodbridge, education is revered. Some recent internet searching suggests our town has, over time, been thought to be amongst those most educated in Connecticut given the high number of bachelor and professional degrees held by our residents. Suffice it to say, we value knowledge, and we seek to offer educational excellence in our schools.
As you have likely seen, on January 5th, our town leadership unanimously passed a proposal to fund repairs to the Beecher Road School roof and other site improvements. Financing for the same will be through bonds, totaling $3.27MM. For longer-term residents, it is well-known that Beecher Road School has long been in need of renovations, so kudos to our new leadership team for not only getting it done, but bringing this issue to a Special Town Meeting.
There are two facts that merit a brief pause. Firstly, the unanimous decision by the Board of Selectman is commendable, as it indicates that all voices on the Board were heard and satisfied by the decisions made. Secondly, bringing this to a town meeting is also significant. Large projects impacting residents should be brought to a public forum so all can appreciate the scope and specifics of the proposal, and all have the opportunity to comment.
This recent outcome for Beecher goes beyond the Board of Selectmen and reflects continued effort by the Beecher Board of Education (and more recently, the Board of Finance). As many of you are aware, this is not the end of needs for Beecher’s infrastructure (let alone funds to drive continued educational excellence). Beecher’s needs are heightened by enrollment projections shared at the July 2023 Woodbridge Board of Education meeting, suggesting an increase of 125 students in the ensuing eight years. As reported by the Superintendent this past fall, enrollment is already 875 students (as of 8/21/23) which is an increase of 30 students since 10/1/22. Costs to educate a student have been roughly estimated at $20,000 per year.
In addition to Beecher, other reviews and proposals of significance are moving forward, and information is being exchanged. Many of these initiatives interrelate with Beecher’s needs. Many of our committees and residents have identified the intersection between open space/land use, housing, and education, not just for Woodbridge, but as it relates to nearby communities benefitting from, for instance, the Woodbridge watershed. I encourage you to review the work being done by our various town committees, to share the reports and information you may be aware of, and to speak-up at these meetings. Minutes including public comment from some of the more recent meetings are available at www.Woodbridgegop.com. Also provided is a link to the Request for Proposal (RFP) regarding the former Country Club of Woodbridge.
As always, feel free to attend our monthly meetings on the second Tuesday of each month, starting between 7 and 7:30 pm at the Senior Center. I’m also available by email (email@example.com) if you have any suggestions or other information to share. Be well and enjoy your day.
This is an opinion not necessarily endorsed by the Woodbridge Town News.