Parents weigh in on the fate of Enfield's Fermi High School - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Parents weigh in on the fate of Enfield's Fermi High School

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(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)
ENFIELD, CT (WFSB) -

The clock is ticking for Enfield's Board of Education regarding the future of the Enrico Fermi High School building.

The board said it will make a decision by March.

On Wednesday night, however, the first of two public meetings about what to do with the building was held.

Since the board's decision to renovate town rival Enfield High School instead of Fermi, the latter's future has been a hot-button issue.

Some parents want to see it stay a school.

Eric Johnson is one of them. He said he's worried about how his daughter will adjust to a new school.

"I think you get settled into a school, and you sort of think of that as your high school and after a year you're going to have a big transition," he said.

Built in 1972, Fermi is in need of a lot of work, according to the board.

Its sister school, Enfield High, was chosen for a $103 million renovation. The project is nearing completion after getting underway three years ago.

By next fall, all of the town's high school students will be taking classes at the revamped Enfield High.

Now the town is trying to figure out what to do with Fermi.

"The only option the board is considering is whether the board wants to move the middle school into Fermi High School," said Jeffrey Schumann, superintendent.

Schumann said that would be an expensive option that could cost more than $30 million just to modernize the building.

"[I'd] just like to see it turn into a middle school," said Scott Cooper of Enfield.

Vincent Weseliza started a petition asking the district to renovate Fermi and turn it into a middle school that can replace Kennedy Middle School.

"We have a unique opportunity to make a significant move in our middle school," he said.

But others, like Bob Tkacz believe that plan would be too expensive.

"It has to be funded by the town council. People are complaining already that the mill rate is too high now," he said.

The town is the owner of the building so it will decide what to do with it if the board decides it won't use the school.

Town manager Lee Erdmann said some other considerations for it include making it a community center, a recreation center, a library or using it for emergency medical services.

That board will make a final decision by March 8.

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