Manchester Repurposed Schools Committee Launches Community Engagement Initiative

Manchester’s Repurposed Schools Committee is launching a neighborhood and town-wide community outreach to solicit input on how four Manchester elementary school buildings will be repurposed for future use. The Board of Directors has charged the Committee with the development and implementation of a coordinated plan to repurpose Nathan Hale, Washington, Martin, and Robertson Schools. Nathan Hale, decommissioned in 2012, has been vacant the longest and will be the first school targeted for repurposing.

Manchester voters approved $10 to $12 million dollars for the repurposing initiative as part of the $93 million SMARTR2 referendum in June 2019 for town-wide school renovations. The Board of Directors’ Resolution forming the Repurposed Schools Committee charges the committee to “engage the community with public input opportunities, as appropriate, to ensure participation and inclusion in the decision making process.” The Board of Directors recently approved the committee’s request of a $250,000 budget to hire a professional community outreach consultant to work closely with the 22-member committee to solicit input from town residents with targeted outreach to residents from the neighborhoods of each repurposed school building, to produce culturally relevant outreach materials, host neighborhood events, and contract professional services for architectural planning. The committee is dedicated to approaching community outreach and engagement through equity-focused and anti-racist lenses to build an inclusive and equitable repurposing process.

The Repurposed Schools Committee will host a press conference outside of Nathan Hale School on April 27th at 6:00pm to formally invite Manchester residents to engage in reimagining  neighborhood spaces through virtual and/or in-person listening/brainstorming sessions, socially distanced building tours and community block parties. The committee will begin phone-banking and door-to-door canvassing in May and continue to build entry points for Manchester residents to share input representing a diversity of needs and perspectives.

Below is the official list of speakers for this press conference event:

Mayor Jay Moran                                                                               Pamela Floyd-Cranford, Board of Directors 

Darryl Thames, Chair, Board of Education                                   Teresa Quintana, Robertson School District                 

Dana Hérbért, Washington School District                                 Jessee Muñiz-Poland, Washington School District

Tawanda Mobley, Nathan Hale School                                         Leslie Frey, Nathan Hale School District

 

Join us in reimagining vital neighborhood spaces!

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Contacts:

Jessee Muñiz-Poland, Communications Liaison, Repurposed Schools Committee, Email: jessee950@gmail.com

Dr. Laurel LaPorte-Grimes, Repurposed Schools Committee Leadership, Email: blueskies379@gmail.com

To sign up to receive updates from the Repurposed Schools Committee: Town of Manchester, Department of Leisure, Families and Recreation, Phone: (860) 647-3085.

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