Hampson resigns chairmanship of school renovation committee

Bruce Hampson stepped down as chairman of the Miller-Driscoll Building Committee at its meeting Thursday evening, Jan. 7. He resigned as a member as well.

In announcing his decision, Hampson said he originally agreed to chair the committee, when approached by First Selectman Bill Brennan and Selectman Dick Dubow some three years ago, until the project was bid and the trade contracts were approved.

“We’ve arrived at that point,” he said. “This is not an easy decision for me. I love what we do. I love what we did in the design and construction process. I’ve loved working with this committee. I’ve worked with a lot of committees since I raised my hand after I retired to become involved in this aspect of our community.

“I love it and it’s been made more meaningful to me by our constituency, our real constituency — 800 kids — and I’ll never forget handing out hardhats to them and their excitement and the responsibility that everybody involved has to those children.

Hampson personal concerns moved him to this decision at this time and he hoped going forward he could continue being a resource on the project.

“I think we all have — everybody at this table — a right to be proud of what we’ve accomplished. Turner and Tai Soo Kim and their consultants are absolutely outstanding.

“I thought we would have a ticker tape parade when we told the community that we brought this project in more than $5 million below budget,” he said with a smile. “So we didn’t get a ticker tape parade, but we got better. We got a cheer from 800 kids. Going forward the role of this committee is not the least bit diminished by the fact that our design work and our approvals have been completed.”

Communicating progress of the project to the parents and staff will be the committee’s biggest challenge going forward, he said, adding that since the meetings have been taped beginning in January, only six people have signed on to watch.

After he thanked the committee again, Dick Dubow broke in and said, “Thank you for saying yes. The town owes you a debt of gratitude. The kids owe you a debt of gratitude.”

He said Hampson could take “tremendous pride in terms of that building representing our town. You have been very much the heart and soul of this committee. On behalf of the committee, the schools and the town we say thank you for your contribution.”

With that, the committee gave Hampson a standing ovation.

A retired engineer, Hampson has been involved in many construction and energy-related projects in town.

He is a member of the Comstock Community Center Building Committee, which should finish its work this month. He was also co-chair with Karen Birck of the Wilton High School Building Committee, which oversaw the renovation of the Little Theater, science classrooms, and the school’s HVAC system in 2009. That project was brought in $3 million under its original $20-million budget.

He was also, until last month, chair and founding member in 2007 of the Wilton Energy Commission, a member of Wilton Go Green’s board of directors (2008-2010), and vice chair of the Wilton Council for Public Facilities

For his work on turning Wilton High School into a state-of-the-art energy-efficient building, he received a 2010 Climate Change Leadership Award from the state.