Remember the last time the Town of Weston moved to rebuild town and school facilities? Well, here we are again 25 years later!
I followed the story of the first tentative steps (1990s) to the 2001 Referendum on my website. Throughout construction the Building Committee was steadfast and held the line on the project’s budget.
There were several questions to answer before any project could be approved:
First, would we need sewers in order to add to our School Road complex? The answer was “no” thanks to the work of our then State Representative John Stripp, who managed to get approval for a tertiary treatment plant for rural Weston.
Second, did official demographic estimates say we could support a fourth school? No, but a “Census of Children” the Town conducted proved the need was there!
How much could we afford to spend? Then First Selectman Hal Shupack managed to pick just the right bottom line - $79 million.
That challenge faced long ago was the question of how many children under the age of 5 lived in town. As it turned out, there were twice as many as the State of Connecticut estimated.
The last Town-School project included doubling the size of the high school and building a new 3-4-5-school (“WIS”). This time around we may not need new construction – just a whole lot of renovation.
Weston home sales benefited from the pandemic. My guess is we’ve traded in long term residents for a new and younger demographic.
Do they have children? Are they planning to have more children?
There is no doubt from the sources I’ve checked that there definitely was a “Baby Bust” due to Covid-19 in 2020. And from official sources the birth rate had already been headed downward even before the pandemic.
With 20 percent turnover in these past two years Weston has changed. When the Facilities Optimization Committee (“FOC”) began work in February of 2020 we were an aging town and houses weren’t selling. Weston Center lost major tenants. But change is in the wind.
A new pharmacy has already opened. And coming soon (February 2022) “Lily’s Weston Market” takes the “anchor store” position! Things are looking up!
“About Town” is also a television program. It appears on Sundays from 6:30 to 7 p.m. on Cablevision Channel 88 (Public Access). Or see it at www.aboutweston.com.