Two Norwich schools to receive state bond money

Norwich – Two Norwich elementary schools in the state Commissioner's Network program could receive more than $900,000 combined in state bond money for capital improvements and technology upgrades to the two schools.

Schools in the state Network system qualify for direct aid from the state for capital improvements, money Norwich Superintendent Abby Dolliver said would be most welcome to cover expenses the financially strapped school district couldn't otherwise afford.

According to state Rep. Emmett Riley, D-Norwich, and state Sen. Cathy Osten, D-Sprague, Uncas School would receive $684,540 and Stanton $245,157 if the state Bond Commission approves the funding requests. Stanton was one of the state's original four Commissioner's Network schools, and Uncas was added to the system – which provides state funding for state-approved turnaround plans to improve student performance – this spring.

"It's all things we won't be able to do right now," Dolliver said of the new funding.

Among other upgrades, the Norwich district would use the money at Uncas to install temporary walls to enclose some of the school's open classroom settings, allowing teachers more privacy. The district also would replace the worn out carpeting at the school.

Technology upgrades are needed throughout the schools, Dolliver said.

"Investing in our educational infrastructure is an essential step in our effort to ensure that children have the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century," Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said in a press release issued by Osten. "I am proud that the state of Connecticut is able to support these projects at schools in Norwich. As governor, I will ensure that we continue to make critical investments in our neighborhood schools."

The state Bond Commission is scheduled to meet at 10:30 a.m. on Friday at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

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