QUIGLEY: Rebuild Central Middle School Now.

Letter to the editor from Dan Quigley, Jullian Curtiss School parent

A fresh engineering report has delivered sobering conclusions about the structural integrity of Central Middle School. Out of a sense if precaution, the school has been closed, pending further evaluation. Students and families in the CMS community remain for now, in limbo. This is, perhaps an unprecedented challenge for our governing bodies and our school administration. It is a situation that begs for a united effort within our community. Politics must be set aside. Republicans and Democrats on the BET and BOE must work together in a bipartisan fashion to deliver results and solutions in a timely fashion.

How did we get here? A close look at the Original School Facilities Master Plan is telling:

In it, CMS was not slated for any significant work until 2034. Similarly, North Mianus (which had a structural failure last year) was not scheduled to be addressed until 2032. Both Cardinal Stadium and work on the Havemeyer building were prioritized on the timeline ahead of NMS and CMS. Over the past year, prioritizing CMS was gaining momentum, in fact, it was moved up on the schedule to 2026. Unfortunately, as is often the case in life, reality has now intervened.

Schools have been the subject of much public debate in our community. Everyone on both sides of these debates have strong, reasoned opinions and have the best interests of the schools and our community at heart. However, this is not the moment to rehash those battles. This is an opportunity to roll up our sleeves and work together. 

There is no disagreement on this issue. What matters now is the fashion and urgency with which our BOE, school administration and BET work together to produce results. The families in the CMS community and its satellite elementary schools deserve a brand new, first class school. That should be everybody’s goal. It’s time to deliver the goods.