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The Board of Education approves $1.36 million for Westport Public School facilities

Sophie Smith ’26
Staples Players crew member Jordan O’Brian ’26 hopes to get updated lighting equipment.

The Board of Education voted to approve $1.36 million to fix Westport Public School facilities on Sept. 21. This request will go to the Board of Finance this October followed by a vote of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM). 

The Board of Finance asked the Board of Education, a group of seven elected officials who make decisions for the school district, for a 10-year capital plan. 

“We had to organize our needs, so we prioritized building envelopes (walls, roofs, windows) and mechanicals (HVAC systems) to ensure our buildings are dry, warm in the winter and cool in the summer,” Lee Goldstein, Chair of the Board of Education, said. “Now we’re working through that list.”

A large amount of this money would go to Staples High School, most notably to the auditorium and field house. The changes would directly affect Staples Players as they use the equipment in the auditorium every day. 

While [the lighting] does technically still work, most of the lighting equipment in the auditorium is very old and a lot of it is breaking or starting to fail.

— Players actor Jordan O'Brien '26

“While it does technically still work, most of the lighting equipment in the auditorium is very old and a lot of it is breaking or starting to fail,” Staples Players crew member Jordan O’Brien ’26 said. “I feel that the grant would be extremely beneficial, especially if it would help us replace or fix some of the older lights and related equipment.” 

Principal Stafford W. Thomas Jr. is most excited for repairing the field house floors.  

“That’s where the phys ed classes are every day, so that is going to be something that is going to help us each day,” Thomas said. 

There are also many other projects that the Board of Education hopes will be completed. 

“[The investment they are asking for includes] funding requests for a refresh of our security and accessibility assessments, replacement of different exterior and mechanical parts at some of our building, upgrade of pumps and filters in the Staples pool area, as well as a variety of other projects,” Vice Chair of Board of Ed Liz Heyer said. 

The next step in this approval would be through the Board of Finance and the RTM. The Board of Finance met on Oct. 5, but the results haven’t been released to the public yet. 

“So hopefully, fingers crossed,” Thomas said, “in May, [Inklings] will be able to print that it was completed.” 

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About the Contributors
Andi Jacobs '26, Paper Arts Editor
Paper Arts Editor Andi Jacobs ’26 loves to write. When she heard about Inklings, she was excited to have the opportunity to pursue her interest. “I wanted to be part of the school,” Jacobs said. “So I feel like Inklings was a good way to do that and to be able to write.” In addition to writing, Jacobs is also a dancer. She particularly values the joy she experiences while dancing.  “It’s like I can have a time when I’m not really thinking about the other stuff going on in the world,” she said. “Instead I’m just thinking about dance.”
Sophie Smith ’26, Paper Sports Editor
  Sophie Smith ’26 is excited to enter her first year of Inklings as a paper sports editor. She was interested in joining Inklings due to her love for reading and English.  “I enjoy reading and I believe English is my strong subject,” Smith said.  Another interest for Smith is being  a leader of Peter's Heart Club..  “My grandfather has a non-profit organization that works with vulnerable children in Uganda, ” Smith said. “I went to Uganda this summer and I am starting a club to raise money”   

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