GREENWICH 2011 GOES FOR NEW:  Timing and money are perhaps equally important.  Weston High School was an award winning design back in the late 1960's by TAC (Harvard) and its auditorium looked great still - but the technology and electronics and general wear and tear made it necessary to be upgraded and have the seating replaced.  Above, About Weston watercolor of the auditorium redo under construction.

A R T S    C E N T E R S    A T    S O U T H W E S T E R N ,    C T .     P U B L I C    H I G H    S C H O O L S

COMMUNITY SUPPORT FOR THE ARTS:




A WARNING TO WESTPORT COMMUNITY: 

NOT HOT LINKS BELOW:  About Weston only interested in this story because it reveals how different communities deal with similar issues - in particular, those in school employment.  In the past, Weston has had these types of issues and more, and revealed its personality to be at once understanding but also strict.  Personnel issues in Weston schools never seem to surface unless there is police record to open the matter.






   
Above, M.S. Wirtenberg watercolor. 
W.H.S. auditorium renovation project went ahead after a M.I.S.A.-type option rejected  because Weston could not afford it.


When you consider that G.H.S. endured all the environmental problems that Weston avoided - only because we didn't have the money to do the project, we were fortunate.  On top of that, there must have been lots of enemies made during the  campaign to get the community behind MISA, and we wonder if this situation produced jealousy of one segment of the education establishment for another?  Of course, we might be entirely wrong about this...full story below:

Little fallout from Greenwich High teacher saga
Greenwich TIME
By Paul Schott
Updated 5:02 pm, Saturday, December 12, 2015

http://www.greenwichtime.com/news/article/Little-fallout-from-Greenwich-High-teacher-saga-6693952.php


---------------

Raise the curtain: MISA is ready for its debut
By Paul Schott, Greenwich TIME
Updated 7:21 am, Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The wait is finally over.

Greenwich High School’s new 1,325-seat auditorium received an occupancy certificate Tuesday from town building officials, allowing for classes to be held there.

The band and choral groups will meet on stage, while the chorus will also convene in the auditorium’s green room during two blocks that its classes overlap with band sessions. Orchestra classes will be held in a prop storage room. Those meeting places comprise a temporary setup; new music classrooms will be built in the next year.

The first concerts in the new venue will be presented by the Greenwich Symphony on Oct. 3 and 4...story in full: 

http://www.greenwichtime.com/news/article/Raise-the-curtain-MISA-is-ready-for-its-debut-6507158.php#photo-8637828

------------------


Report on condition of soil at G.H.S.:  http://www.greenwichtime.com/news/article/GHS-closed-for-summer-for-upgrades-and-soil-6366455.php




Greenwich boards prepare minutes to secret meeting
Robert Marchant, Greenwich TIME
Updated 10:43 pm, Friday, January 2, 2015

Town officials are in the process of approving the minutes of an illegal, closed-door meeting attended by various boards that looked at ways to clean up contaminated soil at Greenwich High School two years ago.

The Board of Selectmen recently approved the minutes of the meeting, and the Board of Estimate and Taxation is planning to approve its minutes of the 2013 meeting later this month. The Board of Education is also in the process of reviewing and approving minutes.

The BET held the special meeting Feb. 26, 2013, and asked members of the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Education to attend. According to the agenda, the purpose of the meeting was to discuss a "pending claim" related to the remediation of the high school grounds.

The state's Freedom of Information law allows litigation to be discussed in executive session behind closed doors...story in full:  http://www.greenwichtime.com/local/article/Greenwich-boards-prepare-minutes-to-secret-meeting-5991059.php#photo-7343012




Judge: Greenwich officials' meeting was illegal
Greenwich TIME
By Justin Pottle
Published 8:14 pm, Friday, October 31, 2014

A judge has upheld the state Freedom of Information Commission's ruling that a closed-door meeting Greenwich officials held to discuss ground contamination was illegal.

The judge on Thursday dismissed the town's appeal of that ruling -- rejecting its argument that members of three boards were legally justified meeting in private because they were discussing a legal claim. He upheld the FOI Commission's finding that officials instead discussed and reached consensus on how best to clean up contaminated soil at Greenwich High School -- before remediation options were presented to the public...story in full : http://www.greenwichtime.com/local/article/Judge-Greenwich-officials-meeting-was-illegal-5862253.php.







THE "I DIDN'T KNOW" PHENOMENON IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT:  Read it and weep - reminds me of this in Weston recently... 

Toxic secrets
Greenwich TIME
Bill Cummings and Michael P. Mayko
Updated 12:46 pm, Monday, June 16, 2014

GREENWICH -- At least two years before PCBs and other toxins were found at Greenwich High School in 2011, the town had compelling evidence that something foul was lurking underground there.

Yet no one probed the suspicious soil or investigated further, even as students in one of the wealthiest communities in the nation continued to play sports on the lush athletic fields where layers of dangerous contaminants were hidden just inches below the turf in some areas...read this long investigative report here.




Show MISA the money
Project needs additional funds and approval from BET and RTM
Paul Schott, Greenwich TIME
Published 11:07 pm, Monday, March 17, 2014

After passing two key auditions, the latest funding request for the embattled MISA performing-arts complex under construction at Greenwich High School is about to face another tough audience.

The Board of Estimate and Taxation will decide at its budget meeting Thursday whether or not to support a request from the MISA Building Committee for $2.37 million to replenish the project's contingency fund...story in full at Greenwich TIME.





GHS soil remediation to take longer than hoped

Justin Pottle, Greenwich TIME
Updated 10:39 pm, Saturday, March 15, 2014

Soil remediation at Greenwich High School could take as long as four years instead of two, Public Works officials say, following a state agency's announcement that it will not approve plans to remove PCBs from the ground in time for work to begin this summer. The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is, however, expected to approve plans for arsenic removal on the site's south side early next week.

Town officials had planned to complete contaminant removal at the high school over the next two summers.

"This means instead of a 2-3 year project, we have a 3-4 year project," Public Works Commissioner Amy Siebert said in an email...story in full at Greenwich TIME.





Town sells $45M in bonds, $85M in short-term notes

Greenwich TIME
Posted on January 22, 2014 | By Justin Pottle

Greenwich is putting its AAA three-peat to good use.

Last week, the town sold $45 million in general obligation bonds to an underwriting syndicate helmed by New York City-based firm Roosevelt & Cross, who beat out 12 other bids, at an effective interest rate of 2.4459 percent. The sum will go toward funding the towns numerous capital projects, including renovations to Nathaniel Witherell and GHS MISA, as well as numerous smaller capital projects around town.

The town has similarly issued $85 million in one-year Bond Anticipation Notes. Purchased by J.P. Morgan, the short-term notes received the lowest interest rates in the town’s history for such a security at 0.1315 percent. The notes will go toward the Central Fire Station Project, town paving, sewer improvements, alongside MISA and other projects.

“The impressive number of bids and the low interest rates received were a reflection of the Town’s excellent credit ratings and respected name in the municipal bond market,” said Comptroller Peter Mynarski Jr.in a January statement. “The credit rating agencies noted the Town’s abundant taxable resources, extremely high wealth characteristics and sound financial management as credit strengths.”

The total sale was the most town debt sold in its history, a result of good ratings and the need for funds for numerous large projects.
..



HOW DID THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION GET INTO THE ACT?

AS REPORTED IN THE GREENWICH TIME...WHICH ISN'T EXACTLY NEUTRAL HERE:

"The Board of Estimate and Taxation, the Board of Education and the Board of Selectmen illegally met in a closed-door session last year to discuss remediation options for soil contamination at Greenwich High School, the state's Freedom of Information Commission has ruled.

Furthermore, the Commission determined that during the secret meeting, members of those boards 'reached a consensus' on the course the town should take in cleaning up the site -- before remediation options were presented to the public.

The decision is in response to a complaint made to the commission by Greenwich Time.

The newspaper, in a petition filed in April, argued that government officials on those boards 'improperly convened' in an executive session during a Feb. 26, 2013, special meeting of the BET.

The meeting's posted agenda stated that a pending legal claim related to eliminating soil contamination at the high school would be discussed during the executive session.

Under state law, pending claims constitute an allowable reason for public officials to hold executive sessions, which are not open to the public.

But Greenwich Time asserted that the meeting was held to discuss potential environmental remedies for the contamination, and should have been conducted in public.

"It is found that the matters discussed in executive session were public matters," FOI Hearing Officer Valicia Dee Harmon wrote in a case report, which the FOI Commission unanimously adopted without changes on Wednesday. 'It is further found that there was no basis upon which to exclude the public from this discussion.'

Town Attorney John Wayne Fox told Greenwich Time on Friday that he has recommended that the town appeal the decision to state Superior Court..."  Article in full here.



School board OK's additional MISA expense

Paul Schott, Greenwich TIME
Updated 10:31 pm, Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Board of Education on Thursday approved a request for an additional $2.37 million in contingency funds for the construction of the new performing arts complex at Greenwich High School, a move that responds to cost overruns produced by an unforeseen scope of environmental remediation work and construction delays.

The committee overseeing construction of the musical instruction space and auditorium project, known as MISA, made the request for the additional funding.

MISA construction is running about four to five months behind schedule, according to Joe Ross, the MISA Building Committee's chairman. The delay is linked to recent water leaks into the auditorium's orchestra pit, which pushed back by several months the start of steel work for the auditorium, and to weather-caused building disruptions...story in full at Greenwich TIME.




School board OKs GHS soil cleanup

Paul Schott, Greenwich TIMES
Updated 9:39 pm, Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Board of Education has endorsed a long-term plan to remove contaminated soil found on the Greenwich High School campus in 2011.

Developed by the consulting firm AECOM, the plan sets a course for remediation to take place during the summer vacations in 2014 and 2015, which will require relocating summer school and athletic programs normally held at Greenwich High.

AECOM's remediation plan will require approval from the federal Environmental Protection Agency....

Town and education officials conducted a forum to discuss the plan Sept. 18 at the high school, which was sparsely attended.

The following day, Siebert and Malcolm Beeler, an AECOM project manager, presented a summary of the remediation plan and took questions during a school board meeting.

Soil containing contaminants such as polychlorinated biphenyls, arsenic, pesticides and benzopyrene was discovered in July 2011, when site work began on the $44 million musical instruction space and auditorium project at the high school. That discovery halted construction and precipitated a long review by a number of agencies to address health and environmental concerns before work could resume. Construction of MISA resumed in July.

PCBs were also found in the MISA complex footprint, which has necessitated soil remediation there, as well.

After field remediation is completed, an inspection, maintenance and monitoring plan will be developed outlining measures needed to maintain the effectiveness of existing and yet-to-be constructed protective barriers. In addition, an environmental land-use restriction will be recorded in land records to guard against inappropriate excavation at Greenwich High.

Story in full at Greenwich TIME.



After a long delay, work on MISA project is underway

Paul Schott, Greenwich TIME
Updated 11:31 pm, Monday, July 8, 2013

Old auditorium above left, MISA copmplex, to its right.  No one believes that the costs will not continue to rise in the future.  After years of impassioned, and sometimes loud, public debate, construction of the $44 million auditorium project at Greenwich High, known as MISA, kicked off quietly Monday...story in full at Greenwich TIME.




RTM approves budget, MISA funding

Neil Vigdor, Greenwich TIME
Updated 1:01 am, Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Representative Town Meeting decided in a squeaker Monday night to keep the funding spigot turned on for a much-maligned performing arts center project at Greenwich High School, the subject of an intensifying debate over its cost and ambitiousness.

A $9.8 million bonding measure for the construction of a new campus auditorium and music instruction space survived the latest challenge from budget hawks on the same night the RTM separately approved a $427 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year.  Coming perilously close to a midnight deadline for completing its deliberations, the RTM voted 118 to 92 with one abstention in favor of the measure...story in full at Greenwich TIME.




Officials rethinking MISA after high bids

Lisa Chamoff, Greenwich TIME
Updated 1:12 pm, Friday, March 15, 2013

The architects of the $37 million Greenwich High School music instruction space and auditorium project are scrambling to reassess their options after construction bids came in more than $6 million over budget...


Former Board of Education Chairman Genny Krob, a member of the fundraising campaign for the project, which has brought in more than $1 million so far, wondered whether there were fewer bids than expected because contractors think the high school is a "toxic waste dump."

Meeting Tuesday morning to discuss the bids that came in last week, members of the committee are considering some changes to a project that has many supporters, but was a hard sell because of its high cost. Complicating matters is that the town will also have to spend millions of dollars to remove contaminated soil, discovered during initial site work for MISA, from the high school property...story in full at Greenwich TIME.



Testing done at GHS fields
Lisa Chamoff, Greenwich TIME
Updated 10:16 p.m., Monday, August 27, 2012

Four of Greenwich High School's artificial turf fields have reopened after soil, groundwater and surface water were tested for toxic chemicals...story in full at Greenwich TIME.




4 GHS fields to close as more soil, water testing begins
Lisa Chamoff, Greenwich TIME
Updated 07:06 a.m., Sunday, June 24, 2012

Students may no longer be using pencils and books at Greenwich High School, but that means the real work will begin to test soil, groundwater and surface water on the campus for toxic chemicals...story in full at Greenwich TIME - this is a story that should resonate with any town that upgrades on old high school.




MISA's next hurdle comes from the feds

Lisa Chamoff, Greenwich TIME
Published 01:00 a.m., Tuesday, May 29, 2012

With annual funding victories, it may seem as if it will be smooth sailing for construction of the new auditorium and music classrooms at Greenwich High School...story in full at Greenwich TIME.




More approvals needed for MISA to proceed

Lisa Chamoff, Greenwich TIME
Updated 10:34 p.m., Tuesday, May 15, 2012

While the Representative Town Meeting Monday night supported an additional $12 million in funding for the new Greenwich High School auditorium, the district still needs some other approvals before shovels can go in the ground...story in full at Greenwich TIME.



MISA survives town budget cut

Neil Vigdor, Greenwich TIME
Updated 11:35 p.m., Monday, May 14, 2012

The powerful forces behind the much-debated construction of a new auditorium at Greenwich High School literally pulled all the right strings Monday night, successfully lobbying the Representative Town Meeting to preserve $12 million in funding for the project as part of a record-setting $404 million municipal budget package approved by the notoriously circumspect legislative body.

A motion to delete funding for the music instruction space and auditorium project known as MISA failed, with the RTM voting 137-65 against the measure during marathon budget deliberations at Central Middle School. There were also two abstentions...story in full at Greenwich TIME.




MISAppropriation move...the smoking gun?
RTM committee chairman faces impeachment

Neil Vigdor, Greenwich TIME
Updated 11:31 p.m., Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A sitting chairman of a key Representative Town Meeting committee, one whose fingerprints are all over the recommended $404 million annual town budget, is facing a rare impeachment attempt by fellow members of the group less than a week before the legislative body votes on the massive fiscal package...

The full RTM is scheduled to hold its deliberations on the proposed $404 million town budget at 7 p.m. Monday at Central Middle School.  The item garnering the most scrutiny is a $12 million tranche of funding for a performing arts center at Greenwich High School, a project that led to the discovery of soil toxins in and around the construction site.  The RTM approved $17 million last year for the music instruction space and auditorium project known as MISA...


The Finance Committee also took up a motion Monday night to delay the second tranche of funding for the project until the full costs of the environmental cleanup are known, a measure that ended in a 6-6 deadlock...story in full at Greenwich TIME.



RTM members ponder: At what cost MISA?

Lisa Chamoff, Greenwich TIME
Published 01:00 a.m., Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A year ago, Gordon Ennis considered himself a supporter of the music instruction space and auditorium project proposed for Greenwich High School...got to read full article at Greenwich TIME!




School board hesitant to make cuts to MISA

Lisa Chamoff, Greenwich TIME
Updated 10:28 p.m., Thursday, April 5, 2012

Despite the rising cost to build the new auditorium and music instruction space at Greenwich High School, Board of Education members say they are hesitant to make cuts and repeat mistakes made when the school was built in the late 1960s...(sounds familiar!!! - story in full at Greenwich TIME re:  Main story).




Opponents speak out against MISA costs

Neil Vigdor, Greenwich TIME
Updated 10:38 p.m., Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Foes of a planned performing arts center at Greenwich High School urged the town's budget architects Tuesday night to delay the controversial project, one that has seen its cost balloon from $28 million to $37 million due to soil contamination and other unforeseen conditions discovered at the site..."I consider it reckless and fiscally imprudent to allow MISA to go ahead as originally planned," Hyland said...story in full at Greenwich TIME.




Cost of GHS auditorium closer to $37M

Lisa Chamoff, Greenwich TIME
Published 10:30 p.m., Thursday, March 8, 2012

The price tag for a new auditorium at Greenwich High School is going to be nearly $10 million more than originally thought.

Joseph Ross, who heads the building committee for the music instruction space and auditorium project, known as MISA, presented the Board of Education with updated cost projections at a work session Thursday night.

The original price tag of $28 million -- which doesn't include architecture and engineering costs -- will likely be closer to $37 million once toxic soil, delays because of the soil contamination and other unexpected costs are factored in.

Ross said it's estimated that addressing contaminated soil in the footprint for the new building will cost close to $4 million...story in full at Greenwich TIME.



Federal, state approval needed before MISA project begins
Lisa Chamoff, Greenwich TIME
Published 06:57 p.m., Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The district is awaiting word from federal and state officials on whether it can move forward with plans to build a new auditorium at Greenwich High School, while addressing soil contamination at the building's footprint separately from the rest of the school property...story in full at Greenwich TIME.



Report: Toxic soil at GHS must be removed
Lisa Chamoff, Greenwich TIME
Updated 06:31 p.m., Friday, February 17, 2012

In case Greenwich residents missed it...the newspaper repeats publication the next day, too.



Report: Toxic soil at GHS must be removed
Greenwich TIME
Lisa Chamoff
Updated 10:44 p.m., Thursday, February 16, 2012

Soil with the highest degree of contamination will have to be removed before construction of a new Greenwich High School auditorium can begin, according to a report released by the school district Thursday.

The report, prepared by AECOM, the environmental consultant hired by the town to address contamination at the school, lists the concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, as well as metals found in the footprint for the new auditorium...story in full at Greenwich TIME.



District: Toxic soil cleared from Greenwich High fields

Greenwich TIME
Lisa Chamoff, Staff Writer
Updated 10:46 p.m., Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Work to clear contaminated soil from Greenwich High School's athletic fields has been completed, and some of the seven fields that have been closed since the summer are expected to reopen soon, the district announced Wednesday.

Remediation on artificial turf fields 3 and 4 and grass field 2 was recently finished, according to an update issued by the district. The fields are still closed to the public, pending approval from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to reopen. Fall maintenance is currently being conducted on the grass field, which would likely reopen in the spring...story in full at Greenwich TIME.



Could escalating GHS environmental cleanup tab derail auditorium project?

Neil Vigdor, Staff Writer, Greenwich TIME
Published 11:10 p.m., Monday, October 3, 2011


Insistent upon placing conditions on the release of $17 million for the Greenwich High School auditorium project before it even commenced, budget architects appear increasingly reluctant to open the spigot until the full costs of cleaning up contaminated soil discovered at the site are reckoned.

To date, $3.1 million has been spent on the multi-phase project, according to the town, which earmarked $17 million in the current fiscal year and $12 million next year for the construction of a new auditorium and adjoining music instruction space.

But the project's final price tag is as nebulous as what lies beneath the footprint of the planned performing arts center, one that has roiled budget hawks...story in full at Greenwich TIME.




RTM approves $1.2 million in cleanup for contaminated soil

Greenwich TIMES
Lisa Chamoff, Staff Writer
Updated 10:37 a.m., Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Representative Town Meeting voted Monday to approve nearly $1.2 million in funding to finance the cleanup of contaminated soil at Greenwich High School and replenish funds that have already been spent from the school's auditorium project budget in response to toxins found on school property...story in full at Greenwich TIME.



PCBs detected in soil at GHS fields
Greenwich TIME
Lisa Chamoff, Staff Writer
Updated 10:24 p.m., Friday, August 12, 2011

Additional tests have turned up contaminated soil at or near four of Greenwich High School's athletic fields, including the baseball and softball fields, district officials said on Friday...

The tests found polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, exceeding "the most restrictive levels" along the right outfield line of softball field 5, where it borders turf field 4, the outfield of baseball field 2 and the west side of turf field 3, according to a statement released by the district Friday afternoon....


Speaking about the GHS soil contamination this week, town Conservation Director Denise Savageau said since the school was built on wetlands, which years ago people used as dumping grounds, it is not surprising that contaminated soil was discovered. PCBs were also commonly used in many materials, such as asphalt, before the federal government banned their production in 1979.

"In terms of filling wetlands, you will find around the state, schools are built on wetlands," Savageau said. "This is certainly not the first school in Connecticut where they've found contaminated soil."


Story in full at Greenwich TIME.



BET approves more than $1M to address contaminated soil at high school
Greenwich TIME
Lisa Chamoff, Staff Writer
Updated 07:26 a.m., Friday, August 5, 2011

The Board of Estimate and Taxation voted Thursday night to release $1.3 million from the Greenwich High School auditorium project to address contaminated soil found last month during a parking lot expansion.

An additional $152,000 for environmental testing will have to come from the school district, with BET members deciding that soil testing of the high school's athletic fields, which were closed last week after soil with high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, was found nearby, was not part of the auditorium and music classroom construction project, known as MISA...story in full at Greenwich TIME.



Auditorium project unearths contaminated soil at Greenwich High
Lisa Chamoff, Greenwich TIME Staff Writer
Updated 12:14 a.m., Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Construction of a new auditorium at Greenwich High School has hit another roadblock, with contaminated soil found during excavation work in the parking lot behind the school just a couple of weeks after the district broke ground on the $29 million project...story in full at Greenwich TIME.


School officials, students rejoice over MISA decision
Greenwich TIME
Julie Ruth, Staff Writer
Published 11:15 p.m., Friday, April 1, 2011

As the Board of Estimate and Taxation deliberated over the budget in Town Hall on Thursday night, an overflow audience packed the auditorium two miles away at Greenwich High School to hear Eastern Middle School students perform their spring concert...story in full at Greenwich TIME.



Republican attacks MISA funding decision
Greenwich TIME
Frank MacEachern, Staff Writer
Updated 11:12 p.m., Friday, April 1, 2011

A Republican member of the Representative Town Meeting accused First Selectman Peter Tesei, a fellow Republican, of "caving in" to public pressure in supporting a controversial high school auditorium project ahead of a new downtown fire station...story in full at Greenwich TIME.





     

2007 IS WHEN THE "SEAT CAMPAIGN" STARTED...ALL FUNDS SECURED PRIOR TO 2008 MARKET BLIP;  AT RIGHT, ATBM 2012 EARLY ARRIVALS;  NEW SEATS, SOUND & LIGHT...

First Selectman Woody Bliss managed to inspire the Town of Weston to vote YET AGAIN at a Special Town Meeting to move funds from the Performing Arts Center (addition to the middle school) to a new project to renovate the 40 year old, never improved at all, high school auditorium.  Residents were inspired by WestonArts and raised funds from individual Westonites to supplement the referendum money remaining and the auditorium at the high school got a beautiful makeover.






NEVER BUILT

Competition Finale...January 31, 2004:
 
A great event for the Weston community - no "losers" in this group of architects--thank you so much for participating!
Thank you Weston Library for having just the right space for this event (Community Room addition). Winner!


A 2014 Op-Ed from one of the architectural firms not in the final cut: 
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/17/opinion/americas-urban-future.html?hp&rref=opinion  






PROLOGUE (1)
Entrance to Community Room at Weston Library @8:30am Saturday, January 31, 2004.  (Stanley Bleifeld sculpture above doorway.)

LEFT (2)
As the finale of the competition began early in the morning Saturday, the first group, "ARO" set up and presented their idea for Beineke Library-like structure (but lower in height), or perhaps more like the Whitney Museum?  Building wraps around auditorium/performance space--all elements of program appear "there."  Fairly close to budget plus Weston Education foundation pledge.

CENTER (3)
"Office dA" had two schemes--the "ultimate" product, with many special features, and a modest one.  Their presentation was extraordinarily complete and detailed;  "About Town" loved the depth of development displayed, links to other arcitecturally historic spaces.  Complex and subtle and very serious entry.

RIGHT (4)
"TEN Arquitectos" was, in my opinion, the most dramatic, inspiring, and symbolic of creating a NEW WESTON as a result of all the school-field projects.  Like Brasilia, the new-town capitol of that country, the architecture here by TEN makes a strong modern statement.  (A number of us in the audience REALLY, REALLY felt this was the right choice.)




Winning design:  Architectural Research Office ("ARO") of N.Y.C.
Stephen Cassell, Partner, ARO, did main presentation;  consultants on theatre design, acoustics present at Finale.




Street-scape.
Students, teachers and just plain walkers walk from southwest between high school and middle school...now in view...a new, really large sugar maple identifies that you have arrived at Weston's new building, part of our PERFORMING & CREATIVE ARTS CENTER!





Trees.
I thought "these guys got the feeling of Weston!"  BIG TREES COUNT FOR A LOT HERE!  (NOTE:  Model below in shadow is on display at Weston Library and will be at SPEAK UP (along with all boards and the other two architecture firms' drawings and models)...





The 450 seat auditorium.  Of the three competitors, ARO stayed closest to budget for the whole project of $4.3 million ($3.1 from Referendum).  Circulation from the several sources of traffic (i.e. from the W.M.S. wing closest to the project site;  from the pool area;  from the street and outside parking [community access]) most clearly defined here.

"Front" and "back" entries sheltered from outside by wrapping of low-angle, simple walls that are themselves an artistic element - having tiny "windows" in various spots (up high) letting in darts of light (like the Whitney Museum).  It is interesting to me that the buildings this solution called up to me were more subtly designed intellectual centers in America (Whitney, Menil Collection [pavillion look], and of course, Beineke Library at Yale.)