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Fairfield Woods Expansion Gets OK

Fairfield Woods Middle School will be able to accommodate a much larger enrollment next fall after the Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve architect Randall Luther's plans to expand the school .

"I think [Luther has] come up with a great plan," board member Perry Liu said. "Finding space, and ways to make things flow better, it's a wonderful job."

The new addition at Fairfield Woods would help accommodate its increased enrollment because of the newly approved redistricting plan . Under the plan, students at Jennings, Holland Hill, Osborn Hill and North Stratfield will move on to Fairfield Woods Middle School. The expansion would feature 17 new classrooms, including two new art rooms and six state-of-the-art science labs. A new gymnasium and a 600-seat auditorium will be added as well.

The school's cafeteria will also get an overhaul, adding space for 80 more kids at a time, expanding the kitchen and improving the lunch line space so it moves faster.

"Now, even with the smaller population, the kids who are in some of the lunch lines are queued up, and by the time they get their lunch, the period is pretty much over," Luther said. "So we've expanded those lunch lines, made them much more efficient."

If the plan passes the town's Planning and Zoning Commission, the new classrooms would be ready by next September. The board asked whether the renovations to the cafeteria and auditorium would be done, but Luther was not certain.

"We can't get a jump on the cafeteria until the kids are gone" for the summer, Luther said. "It's a very small window."

Still, he expected the entire project would be done by the end of 2011.

Although this was the first time Luther's plan came before the board, it voted to approve it at Tuesday's meeting to get the process moving. The plan needs approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission, which will hear the plan at its meeting Oct. 26.

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