Editorial: Bright and shiny

One of the most exciting days in a young child’s life is that first day of school — the really first day — when the child goes to kindergarten. And it’s all the better when it is a welcoming, warm and cheerful place children are eager to go to every day.

The newly renovated Miller-Driscoll is such a place.

While some in the community will ever assert that it is too big and was too expensive, for those who will be most affected — the children — it is truly grand.

The school is everything it should be for a child — bright and airy and configured to give a feeling of “smallness” despite its large size. A walk-through during last week’s open house buoyed the spirits as children’s artwork and classwork bedecked the hallways. The views from the windows are colorful from some classrooms, serene from others.

Yes, there were extra classrooms, but they are being put to use in constructive ways — as a resource room, science lab, and professional development space. Finding the perfect size for a school is an impossible task given the ebb and flow of school populations, not just from year to year but from generation to generation.

Some towns have several neighborhood elementary schools, which can be a positive or a negative. While they are smaller and may be more intimate, there are many negatives: Is one school better than another? How do you expand a school experiencing growth? If a school needs to be closed, which one?

By having three large schools in a central location, Wilton eliminates most of those problems, but size will always be an issue.

To be sure, there are some bugs to be worked out at Miller-Driscoll. The air-conditioning system is one, and it is a big one, given all the questions about mold and air quality in the school’s past. But this is a fixable problem, and fixed it should be! A new roof over the entire building should also go a long way to solving many of the problems that bedeviled the school before.

And let’s learn from mistakes made in the past. Maintenance must not be deferred. This building is too important and too expensive to let any part of it deteriorate.

Taxpayers have given the school district a wonderful gift with this school. Educators must use it to the best of their abilities to deliver not just the best education they can provide to children but an outstanding education. Take the tools you are being given and run with them.