Letter: School costs could increase

To the Editors:

Sensible Wilton believes the Miller-Driscoll project requires a revote. Aspects of the referendum process were contrary to state law and many citizens have stated they were not provided information to properly evaluate/vote.

The proposed project did not provide a cost/benefit analysis nor is there evidence that costs were minimized. The SOR (Statement of Requirement) did not include:

  • Demolishing two existing cafeterias to build a newer, smaller cafeteria;
  • Demolishing the most recently built classroom pod (Peach Core) to build a straighter hallway;
  • Demolishing existing pre-K wing to improve “line of sight” for one small office.

Why are Wiltonians paying $50 million for expensive construction not identified in the SORs? Demolition/rebuilds without defined “Requirements” usually lead to a disastrous project with runaway costs. Any project of this magnitude should explicitly identify costs of key components.

Last week, Sensible Wilton submitted over 1,100 signatures petitioning the town for a revote of this project. We collected over 980 signatures in just one day — more than the number of people who voted Yes for the project!

We firmly believe improvements are needed at Miller-Driscoll, but should be concentrated on items that are needed now for student health/safety: roof and HVAC.

The largest project in town history shouldn’t be decided by 27 votes. Wilton will all be paying for this for years. The cost will detract funding teachers and school programs.

A lawful revote without the documented referendum law violations is important no matter how you voted. Sensible Wilton has declared if the project passes in a lawful vote, we will support the will of the voters. But there were so many irregularities in the September vote, as a matter of integrity, our politicians should be leading the effort for a lawful revote.

Alex Ruskewich

Calvin Road, Jan. 13