Q: Governor Lamont has recently stated that he plans to decrease large investments statewide, including new school construction. What does that mean for Brookfield and the New School Project?


A: First, although the referendum on March 5th is to approve the full cost of the project, the language also states that the town will issue bonds not to exceed $63,295,000. Therefore, if anticipated state funding does not come through, taxpayers will not be responsible for the remaining cost. If grant aid were to be notably decreased or absent, the project would have to be revised, or brought to another referendum.


Regardless, the New School Project Committee is confident that this is a solid project to submit to the state. The proposal was received favorably during a preliminary meeting with the Office of School Construction Grants last week. Should the New School Project be approved in referendum, it will be one of only eight known grant applications for this coming June deadline. This is well below average, and half of those applications are for non-priority projects, such as new roofs or windows. Adding to the favorability of this project is that it combines two older schools, leaving less total schools in the system. Additionally, Brookfield’s new school construction reimbursement percentage is relatively low in comparison to most Connecticut municipalities. While this is not a benefit to the overall cost for Brookfield, is an advantage for state approval.