Greenwich Delegation: New Lebanon School Construction Reimbursement Process Explained

Submitted by the Greenwich Delegation on Oct 23, 2017

Carl Sagan said: “We make our world significant by the courage of our questions
and the depth of our answers.”

As you debate the Sense of the Meeting Resolution regarding the progress of the New Lebanon School construction, we offer the following factual explanation of the construction reimbursement process.

June 2012 – Greenwich was cited by the State Department of Education for racial imbalance at Hamilton Avenue and New Lebanon Schools. After extensive debate and analysis – complete with public input, the Greenwich Board of Education’s Racial Imbalance Mitigation Plan was approved by the State on July 9, 2014.

The cornerstone of the accepted Plan was the construction of a New Lebanon School facility which would meet a magnet school’s capacity in size and student recruitment potential. If the Department of Administrative Service’s (DAS) construction parameters are met, New Lebanon School would be eligible for up to 80% Diversity Grant construction reimbursement after the project is completed.

All school construction projects in the State must be fully funded by the municipality before any reimbursement application can be submitted. The Greenwich RTM committed to the New Lebanon construction appropriation in 2016.

The Greenwich delegation in the General Assembly has worked in a bipartisan manner to obtain approvals of all applicable legislative and DAS requirements: unanimous approval of the Priority Schools Construction Committee; approval by both the Education and Finance Committees; and inclusion in the DAS construction funding in the bond bill (SB 788) which awaits adoption after a State budget is approved.

We will continue to do everything in our legislative power to assure that the New Lebanon school project receives its fair and equitable reimbursement in accordance with State statute and State mandate.

Sen. Scott Frantz, Rep. Livvy Floren, Rep. Mike Bocchino and Rep. Fred Camillo