New magnet school being built in South Windsor
By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Wed., Dec. 14, 2011
According to Town Planner Michelle Lipe, the Capital Regional Education Council has all of its approvals in place to begin construction of a new magnet elementary school, to be located at the intersection of Long Hill and Chapel roads. The International Magnet School for Global Citizenship will serve children in pre-kindergarten through grade 5 and is fully-funded by the state.
The parcel is located between a residential zone and Interstate 291. Lipe said the Planning and Zoning Commission felt the school was a good transitional use of the space. She also noted that CREC liked the location because of the access to the interstate. No upgrades to I-291 are planned.
This is one of seven magnet schools to be opened in response to the Sheff v. O’Neill case addressing Hartford students living in racial, ethic and economic isolation. The establishment of the magnet schools also expands Project Open Choice for Hartford-regional students.
“The town could not have been more welcoming,” said CREC Director of Finance and Operations Don Walsh. CREC originally looked at land near the Main Street end of Chapel Street, but that was in the 100-year flood plane. The owners of the new location approached CREC, and the land was purchased in the beginning of December. “We plan to be in the ground this spring,” he said, with student occupancy in 2013.
The design of the building plays off the agricultural theme of South Windsor’s history. The site, which is currently wooded, is sloped, and the building design works with the topography. “It’s a nice layout,” said Lipe. “I think it’s something we’ll be pleased to see.” She noted that the town will have use of the sports fields and the facility, after hours.
Currently, the school is operating at two locations in East Hartford – at the Silva’s Youth of Today Learning Center, 656 Silver Lane, and the former St. Rosa School, at 21 Chapel St.. “The school has been very popular,” said Walsh, with some 331 students enrolled. The South Windsor location will accommodate 435 students.
The magnet school students are selected by a lottery, which is run by the Connecticut Department of Education. Walsh anticipates that approximately 25 to 50 South Windsor students will attend the magnet school. For more information, visit the website crec.org.