Feb 172014

First Selectman Jim Zeoli speaks before the Orange Board of Education on Feb. 10.

First Selectman Jim Zeoli speaks before the Orange Board of Education on Feb. 10.

At last Monday’s Orange Board Of Education meeting (available for viewing on OGAT’s Video On Demand) First Selectman Jim Zeoli spoke during the public participation section regarding proposed expenditures for Peck Place School.

The subject came up again at Wednesday’s Board of Selectmen’s meeting and by Friday what he had said went around town like a game of telephone — so what ARE his thoughts?

Zeoli responded in a public forum on Friday afternoon with the hope of clearing things up.

He wrote:

There are way too many rumors and speculation out there about Peck Place School today. I appeared at the Board of Education meeting on Monday the 10th and spoke during Public Participation.

I had told the Chairman that I would be at that meeting. I encouraged the Board to look at the dollar costs for putting Peck back in shape and that are there any other options.

I suggested that as part of considering a full day Kinder program they see if it is possible to move these classes back to each home school of the respective district and the K’s could be with big brothers and sisters as it was prior to the refitting and reuse of MLT.

I then asked that they look at MLT for the Peck district school if it could be used that way. I then suggested if all that was possible they then would walk away from Peck and at the same time consider using the bond and operation money slated for Peck to be used at TH, RB, and MLT.

Then the charge would be to consider a new school for all elementary or just refurb what we have. These were all possibilities that the OBOE could look at. I do not have a say in what ultimately happens anymore than you, the OBOE elected members do on your behalf.

The most recent rumor I heard today is that I am forcing the schools to split the grade levels and putting two grades at each school. Never will I support this.

The Board of Selectmen met on Wednesday at our regular meeting, one item on the agenda was the contracts with AIG dealing with asbestos. Phase 1 was approved to be paid, this was the areas that were water damaged and asbestos abatement is not a covered expense.

Phase’s 2 and 3 the Selectmen had questions that answers were not readily available in the material provided for work in area’s other than the water damaged zones.

A meeting is being held with the Oboe’s staff and experts for the work required in these area’s. This meeting has nothing to do with school or staff planning or staff reductions as I heard today. 

Orange Live will keep you posted on any updates concerning the ongoing Peck Place School situation.

  2 Responses to “Abandon Peck Place? Move Kindergarteners? One Orange School? What Did Jim Zeoli Say to The Orange BOE?”

  1. I believe when Jim Zeoli want to elementary school in Orange there were 5 schools, number 1 and number 2 it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that there is no way Peck can fit in Mary L. Finally, even if Orange wanted to build a one new school to house nearly 1000 children (wow! imagine the size of that!), it would take years to accomplish so wouldn’t Peck have to be fixed now anyway? And if we did decide to fund the millions of dollars to build one new school, what happens to the schools that would be abandoned in neighborhoods??? If I lived near one, I would be worried about that.

  2. Are we talking that children will not be allowed into Peck until the entire school is made asbestos free? That was not made clear. . If the non water affected areas do not need top be reworked then what other huge expenses are we talking about? Insurance is covering everything but the abatement in the damaged areas? Why wouldn’t we just pay the bill and move the kids back in? I’m confused but surely willing to accept the advice of experts.