June 16, 2021

Sen. Haskell, Sen. Hwang, Rep. Steinberg, Rep. Thomas Welcome Funding For Coleytown Middle School In Bonding Approval

Today, State Senators Will Haskell (D-Westport) and Tony Hwang (R-Westport) and State Representatives Jonathan Steinberg (D-Westport) and Stephanie Thomas (D-Westport) all welcomed funding in the latest approval of bonds by the General Legislature that will support the Coleytown Middle School project, completed earlier this year. The state will commit $6.82 million to the project. The renovation involved significant remediation and renovation of the school property including the important removal of mold in the building, among other issues impacting students’ abilities to learn.

“We know that people are drawn to Westport thanks to our exceptional public schools. That’s why renovating Coleytown Middle School project was so important, as every student deserves to learn in a healthy, modern classroom,” said Sen. Haskell. “The repairs and improvements made during this years-long project will benefit teachers and students alike, addressing an issue of mold contamination that threw a wrench into the lives of many Coleytown families and educators. I’m grateful to the State Bond Commission, Governor Lamont and the General Assembly for all working together to approve this funding for Westport.”

“These bonding monies will enable a renovation and redesign to greatly enhance the educational experience for Coleytown students and staff alike,” said Sen. Hwang, who serves as the ranking Senator on the legislative bonding subcommittee and testified at the public hearing on this funding proposal. “I appreciate the legislature understanding the urgency and necessity of authorizing funds for our local middle school due to discovery of mold and other health risk concerns that would have negatively affected students, teachers and staff. This investment in school infrastructure will serve Westport students for years to come. I am proud to have worked on the front line of the effort to secure this funding for Coleytown Middle School in Westport bringing these improvements closer to reality.”

“Westporters contribute quite a lot to the State’s coffers and ask very little in return. This allocation is a worthy example of how the State can and should help our community,” said Rep. Steinberg.

“It is wonderful to have secured state funding in support of the renovation and remediation of Coleytown,” Rep. Thomas said. “I know how critical this investment was in ensuring that the full cost wasn’t borne solely by the town or its taxpayers.”

As part of legislation passed by lawmakers this week in special session authorizing and adjusting bonds of the state and authorizing state grant commitments for school building projects, Westport will receive $6.82 million to support the middle school project, or 21% of the project’s total costs, in the future.

With work beginning in 2018, Coleytown Middle School underwent years of renovation and new construction before it welcomed students and teachers again in January of this year. Among the many advances and changes made in that time include a replacement of the building’s HVAC system and windows, as well as new development in the library and improvements in classrooms to help students learn modern technology. Just as important: removing mold that was harming health of students in the building. With the work completed, Westport’s middle schoolers now have a state-of-the-art school in which they can continue learning.