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Wallingford town council hears concerns over plan to consolidate high schools

Residents against the proposal to join Lyman Hall and Sheehan high schools together rallied outside of town hall on Tuesday.

WALLINGFORD, Conn. — Wallingford’s two high schools could soon become one.

However, a group of residents is trying to stop that from happening. Rallying ahead of a town council meeting on Tuesday, opponents of joining Sheehan and Lyman Hall high schools together said they have many concerns about what one large high school will mean.

"I am worried about decreased scholarship opportunities, decreased student-teacher interactions, and then decreased extracurricular activities," said Erin Huckle of Wallingford.

The Board of Education already voted in favor of building a new high school at the Lyman Hall site, instead of making the needed improvements to the two different buildings.

"The site of Lyman Hall High School was the only one at this particular moment that could be considered right now for feasibility," said Wallingford Schools Superintendent Danielle Bellizzi.

If the plan were to go forward, the new high school would not be open until fall 2028. Current students said they are speaking out for those it will impact. Sharing concerns about class sizes and the change in culture from a small school to a much larger one.

"I know every student in my grade I could tell you everyone’s name, I know every teacher you know we’re a small connected community," said Savannah Bauman, a senior at Sheehan High School. "You’ll have larger class sizes and students won’t be allowed to participate in all the things they want to," she said.

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The school's superintendent said more students could help provide more opportunities, such as creating new sports teams and extracurriculars.

"We can look at adding additional clubs based on the student interest," Bellizzi said.

Residents said they want everyone’s voice to be heard before an official decision is made.

"I don’t want to be pushed through, I don’t want to be bullied. I want to vote on this and I want a referendum," Huckle said.

Gaby Molina is a reporter and anchor at FOX61 News. She can be reached at mmolina@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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