Toxic dump on Hillside?

GHS Science Club field trip

GHS Science Club field trip

I’ve been hearing rumors from previously reliable sources that the PCB issue at the high school is about to heat up. I don’t know that for certain, and I certainly don’t pretend to know what it would take to clean up the site, if necessary, but I wonder whether it makes sense to plow $75 million in a new music hall there if we’re facing moving the entire school to a new location.
By the way, if the school were to be condemned, the Democrats’s desire for us to take on massive, long term debt would finally be realized: if a mere auditorium costs $75 million, how much for a whole school?


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40 responses to “Toxic dump on Hillside?

  1. Publius


    See attached. Newton Mass HS opened in 2010 just shy of 200mm. A lot of controversy at the time. Since Greenwich does things in a big (wasteful) way, My guess is the over/under on a new GHS would be $250mm outside shot @ $300mm

  2. Rivman

    I spent three years at the toxic dump and I’m fine. In fact, the extra limbs I developed have been invaluable.

  3. Cos Cobber

    I was thinking over the weekend. There seems to be just one place to build a new school; the Pomerance Property. I’m not a fan, I’m just saying….

    • Riverslide

      Or we could finally pull the trigger on the two high school option. Darien is less than half the size of GHS and seems to kick our asses in every category, athletic and academic. (I enjoyed the large size of GHS, but if practicalities forced us to break it up, that wouldn’t be tragic.)

      • Riverslide

        And to further my great point: New Canaan HS is even smaller than Darien HS!

        • Anon58

          Yes, and do both of those towns still have their little “agreements” that keep “certain” people from living there?

          • I didn’t think so,but a couple of years ago I had a wonderful Jewish family as clients and they absolutely refused to look in Darien because of what they said was its still active antiSemitism. Accurate perception or not, they bought here in Greenwich, so our gain, Darien’s loss.

      • CatoRenasci

        Instead of just two high schools, go to three: use the three middle schools. Go back to K-8 elementary schools with 9-12 high schools. Or, make it K-7 elementary schools with 8-12 high schools. We could shift districts around a bit, fill all the elementary school buildings, and just take the existing toxic school out of service.

        • John M

          Interesting idea, but many of the existing elementary schools are at or above capacity; adding another grade level to the elementary schools would mean several more construction projects.

      • Joey

        Well the academic kick in the pants is only due to the lack of diversity (socio economic or racial……you choose) in these two other cities (perhaps we should say towns). It says very little about the differences in teaching, facilities or the performance of any one child. One usually chooses to live in NC or Darien because they don’t want diversity. That is their choice.

    • If we remove parkland we must, under CT law, replace it, but turning the present high school site into a bird preserve would probably satisfy that requirement.
      And a school at Pomeranz would make Cos Cobbers forget about the new synagogue!

    • Riverslide

      The old high school, present town hall, could serve western Greenwich. We could relocate town hall to the present high school, since most employees are fully grown and wouldn’t have their development stunted by PCB’s. We just have to find a space east of the Mianus for the new building.

      The division of GHS’s assets could be done equitably. Chris Winters would go east, since he is from Riverside. Rich Albonizio and his long-time staff would go west, since they are from Port Chester. Etc. etc.

      • Cos Cobber

        Riverslide, I see only two locations east of the Mianus for your new HS. A conversion of the former Wit Soundview building on US 1 or the eastern Civic Center.

        I suggest you do some deep soil borings at the Civic center before proceeding given the swampy lend may have collected old industrial runoff yet again. 🙂

        • Joey

          It sounds like you all are going down the separate but equal route. Good luck with that one.

        • FF

          Trade the acreage in Bruce Park for the acreage at the High School property. Even swap of in-town land, easily accessed High School, bob’s your uncle

        • Anonymous

          There’s no land on the east side for a high school. Give them that tiny, poor excuse of a building/fields that we renovated to be town hall. Let west build a real high school and fields in N. West Greenwich where there is land.

  4. Toxic Milbrook?

    From a real estate perspective, for some time I have thought it possible that PCBs dumped at the high school site may have migrated downstream into the lake that runs north-south to the west of Woodside Drive in Milbrook (where the water flow slows down, dumping particulate matter before continuing under the railroad and out to Long Island Sound).

    Does anyone know of any testing of the sediment done in the Milbrook lake to see if it is laced with PCBs and thus contains carcinogens? If there are PCBs in that body of water, property values in Milbrook should take a hit.

  5. Anonymous

    These prices must be padded. I doubt it costs that much to build in Kentucky or Ohio etc. The cost differential is much greater than the cost of living. Some one is making money on the back end as usual. American and Unions. Just walk through town hall and their beautiful offices and watch the old ladies as they move one paper from left to right for a days work. Wish these false parameters would be unaccepted and the children would get what they need, Where are the wall street big guns here? How is this OK?

  6. EOSredux

    The new Newtown Connecticut elementary school (Sandy Hook) is expected to cost between $42 million and $47 million. Its projected opening is 2016. The project will not require any local tax dollars. Plans were scaled back last spring from an early 99,000-square-foot prototype to one that is 70,000 square feet.

    Yes, the above is the price tag for an elementary and not high school so its not comparing apples to apples. What’s the current sf of the GHS?

  7. Ghost of the FAR Czar

    If the existing site was capped (like the old Raybestos super fund site in Stratford), you could probably do a significant office/retail development there. If the State covers 80% of the construction cost (I think I recall that from the “replace New Lebanon” discussion), then the proceeds from selling/leasing the existing site to a private developer could probably cover the balance of the construction cost.

    That doesn’t solve the big issue issue – finding a town owned site to serve as a replacement location. Or maybe they buy the 50 acre Ogilvy listing….

  8. Greenwich Taxpayer

    Testing was done, we are told, downstream with supposedly no impact to Milbrook. But we haven’t seen the end of this. More spending to come, big time…

  9. Anonymous

    Your new picture is priceless…….probably like the cost of our new high school no doubt.

  10. (A reader sent in this comment but posted it in the wrong place, so I’m placing it here)
    Lots brewing at GHS besides the PCBs–proposal from Winters “presented” to faculty today–handpicked group of 5 teachers to support and “research” the proposal and outside funds solicited for the research. No faculty input requested. Another IB debacle? Proposal to go before Board of Ed. Thursday, 12/5 . . . .

  11. Floating High School

    Get a cruise ship. Provides all the needed space. And can serve as floating school bus dropping kids off along long island sound from og to byrum.