‘It Has Started To Fail’: $2.2 Million South School Roof Replacement Drives Board of Ed’s Capital Budget Request 

The estimated $2.2 million replacement of the roof at South School is driving the superintendent of schools’ overall $4.1 million capital request for next fiscal year. 

The project had been scheduled three years ago, yet the Board of Finance at the time asked whether the district could defer it, “so we did,” according to the Dr. Bryan Luizzi. “We really feel you cannot defer it any more,” he told members of the Board of Education during their regular meeting Monday night, in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. “We are spending a lot of time with rain problems after storms and water incursion is an issue. And so we need to keep up with it, or other problems happen and we want to avoid those.”

The comments came as Luizzi proposed an approximately $92 million operating budget for fiscal year 2020, a 2.55 percent increase over current spending. The Board of Ed is to vote on the proposed budgets next week, at which point it goes to municipal bodies for discussion and approval, with a final vote in April. 

The South School roof replacement should be able to get done in a single summer starting when school lets out, Luizzi said.

School Start Times: Superintendent Floats Proposal To Start Elementary Schools Earlier, Followed by High School and Saxe

Local elementary schools could start as early as 7:30 a.m., with New Canaan High School starting later in the morning and all of Saxe Middle School starting last, under a new proposal that Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi unveiled Monday night. Citing anecdotal evidence that younger children tend to tire in the afternoon, Luizzi said the proposed new system—suggested by New Canaan Public Schools Transportation Coordinator Roy Walder—could largely preserve the current and cost-effective three-tier busing system, though it also comes with tradeoffs. “I’m not going to say this is the scenario I am recommending yet, because there is more work to be done,” Luizzi told members of the Board of Education at their regular meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School and attended by about 25 parents. “But I want to share it with you because work is being done and continues to be done. The magnitude of the change—it moves everybody.

Superintendent of Schools Proposes 2.55 Percent Spending Increase

The superintendent of schools on Monday night proposed a $92 million budget for New Canaan Public Schools next year, a 2.55 percent increase over current spending. Of the approximately $2.3 million projected spending increase over this fiscal year, more than $1.6 million is due to employee salaries, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi told members of the Board of Education during their regular meeting. The budget also anticipates spending less money in areas that include contracted services ($94,554), property services ($440,302), supplies ($58,707) and equipment ($56,016), he said. The salary figure of $1.6 million represents an increase of about 2.8 percent over current spending, Luizzi said. The increase is driven mainly by contractual increases with unions representing district employees ($1.4 million), as well as “grid progressions” for teachers advancing on the salary schedule ($189,410), he said.