Tuesday, March 05, 2024


Farrell Asks School Officials to Explain Expanded Space Needs

Westport First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell has asked school administrators to provide a detailed explanation of a request for the town to seek additional office space for school administrative needs.

In a Jan. 20 letter to Schools Supt. Elliott Landon, Farrell said she would not pass on a request to the town’s Public Site and Building Commission to find more space until the schools have prepared a presentation showing that they have exhausted every available space in school buildings.

“Elliott, I am deeply concerned about the cost of this initiative,” Farrell wrote.

“Coming on the heels of a 6.5 percent requested annual operating increase, and an additional capital request of $2.5 million for completion of Staples High School, expending funds for office space is an added burden to the taxpayer at a time when a great deal has been asked already in support of education.”

She added: “As such, before contacting the Public Site and Building Commission, I request that you prepare a presentation that addresses your administrative needs, exhausting every available space in your school buildings. I understand your desire to centralize, but if adequate space exists on a less centralized basis, consideration should be given from a financial perspective.”

Farrell, who was replying to a Jan. 20 letter asking her to forward the expanded space request to the Public Site and Building Commission, said a statement in Landon’s letter that the town’s space needs would also be increasing was in error.

“Speaking for the Town of Westport, we do not anticipate any expansion within the building in the future,” she said.

(Editor’s Note: The editor of WestportNow is also moderator of the Representative Town Meeting and, as such, received a copy of Farrell’s letter earlier this month. However, publication of a WestportNow story on the letter was delayed until other news media first reported it, which The Hour of Norwalk did in today’s edition.)

2 thoughts on “Farrell Asks School Officials to Explain Expanded Space Needs

  1. Thank you Diane for reminding Elliot Landon about the Staples window debacle. And note that Westport has a top heavy administrative structure—two vice principals at every elementary school and CMS, three vice principals at BMS, and four vice principals at Staples, not to mention the sp. ed. administrative structure. Check out the other school districts in our ERG or Fairfield County—we have more administrators than any other district! Why are all these administrators at the elem. and ms and Staples necessary? When I taught at Staples we had a Dean for each class and there were at least 1600 students there. Did Mr. Landon ever hear of tightening his bel? The highest priority in this system is class size!! There should not be any classes at Staples with 30 students, and if a class doesn’t have an enrollment of at least 15 students it should be cancelled.

    Considering the windows debacle at the new Staples, it might be a good idea for the Supt.‘s office to move into the Teachers’ Center house on Riverside Ave. and consider sharing some offices.
    Why do all these administrators have to be together—they have email and phones!!!

    What’s next—a Spa??

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