Thursday, April 21, 2022

BACK IN 1999, voters rejected a $110 million plan to renovate the then 10 Manchester elementary schools serving students in K-5. All these years later schools are still being renovated and questions remain about what will become of those that have been or will be taken off line. We have the latest development below as well as other news and notes. We also have our regular reminder: If you enjoy reading OneManchester each week, this is the link that is used to subscribe.

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A new Repurposed Schools Task Force met Monday night with Board of Director members Tim Bergin, Jessee Muñiz-Poland and Zachary Reichelt now taking charge of a process to (hopefully and finally) determine the fate of:

  • Nathan Hale -- closed for 10 years
  • Robertson -- closed in 2018 but currently being used as 'swing space' through the 2023-24 school year
  • Washington -- closed in 2019 but temporarily the home of Manchester Middle Academy
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That's a photo from Monday's meeting, which included a public comment session; task force members say there will be plenty of transparency and opportunities for further community engagement as they face a Dec. 31 deadline to have recommendations. And, by the way ...

  • Martin is slated to stop serving K-4 students starting in Fall 2024 (with most students moving to an expanded Keeney) but will stay under BoE control as a preschool center.


Waddell (2018), Verplanck (2019) and Highland (2012) have all been renovated. Buckley is under way with Bowers and Keeney up next. We have more on these schools below ...

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Manchester Energy Efficiency Series: As we continue to document the renovation of Buckley Elementary, we examine the critical role played by the many contractors and subcontractors. To read our latest installment click here and, as reminder, here's the district renovation timeline:
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  • This school year: Buckley is being renovated with students and staff relocated to Robertson school this year. Above is an architectural rendering of a completed Buckley.
  • Next school year -- Bowers will be undergoing renovations with students and staff relocated to Robertson
  • 2023-24 -- Keeney undergoing renovations with students and staff spending the year at Robertson

BoE Meets Monday Night

Featured will be a technology update from Kerri Kearney, the district's IT director. Board of Education meetings at Lincoln Center start at 7 and are broadcast on Silk City Television and streamed live on the district Facebook page and members of the public are able to submit questions remotely both before and during the meeting using our Ask The Superintendent form. To take part in the public comment session please show up or if online register using this Request To Speak form. For more information please click here.

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Other News and Notes

  • Speaking of Buckley, when the building reopens in the fall it will include a time capsule to be opened ... someday! Former (and current) Buckley families, students and staff are invited to contribute notes, stories and any such memorabilia. The deadline is May 20 and there's more information here..


  • Applications are being accepted from families interested in enrolling children in the district Early Childhood Education Program for 3- and 4-year-olds. Click here for more information.

  • Early Head Start is a home visiting program that serves children from birth to age three, pregnant women and their families residing in Manchester or Vernon. A Parents as Teachers (PAT) certified Parent Educator provides parent education, child development information, developmental screenings, dental screenings, disability and behavioral health services, field trips, playgroups as well as Lactation services and parent support groups. To apply click here.


  • Interested in a job in education? The district has lots of opportunities and open positions and this flier has the info you need to take advantage.

  • It's time for the April family survey and you can find it here.

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MHS Students Win Award For PSAs

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The FACTS Club at Manchester High created two entries -- a video (above) and a rap -- in a contest sponsored by the CT Council on Problem Gambling and won the award for “Best Message to Peers” as well as $600 to continue their important work. Btw FACTS stands for Fighting Against Common Teen Substances.


  • MHS Junior Paris Bazemore was among students from 54 school districts recognized in a state Voice4Change Program. Paris proposed creating a Makerspace for the high school and you'll find details about that here.
  • Bennet Academy released the honor roll for the third marking period. Check it out.
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MHS Fundraisers

  • For a donation of $25, you can honor a soon-to-graduate MHS student by having vibrant pink flamingos displayed in the graduate’s yard for a few days. Click for details.
  • And MHS Project Graduation’s Sock-A-Thon runs through April.
  • Also, purchase a lawn sign for a 2022 MHS graduating senior by April 30.
  • A Cinco de Mayo taco-eating contest with proceeds going to Project Graduation will reveal who can eat the most tacos in 5 minutes and 5 seconds. It's on Thursday, 5-5 and All the details are here.
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  • The town is getting ready to launch a new website and Better Manchester has the story. (That's the current website above.)
  • BTW prominently displayed on the current website is news that summer program registration starts May 4. Learn more here.
  • The Manchester Women's Club has a spot in the Community Garden and is also striving to grow its membership. Women 18 and older are welcome and the info is on the MWC website.
  • The Passport to Connecticut Libraries program runs through April 30 and if you visit at least five participating sites you could win a $150 gift card. The MPL Facebook page has the details.

In Case You Missed It

The Luminaries of Change is a living art exhibit that examines Manchester's trailblazers who have dedicated themselves to creating social change throughout the community. The gallery will soon be growing and you can click here to learn about the nomination process.


  • Manchester youth who are entering grades 9-12 in the fall of 2022 are encouraged to apply to serve on the Manchester Youth Commission. The deadline to apply is May 2 and all the info is here.

The Week Ahead

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The Early Childhood Fair is Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at Northwest Park. It's free, open to the public, and provides a wealth of information on programs, services, recreation, and local resources available for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and young children up to age 8. There will also be play activities and playground time. Here's the flier.


Thursday, April 21
9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. -- Mind Over Matter for 13 -18 year olds at 63 Linden St.
1:30 - 6:30 p.m. -- Red Cross blood drive at North United Methodist Church, 300 Parker St.
6 p.m. -- Benefits of a whole food plant based diet at Whiton Library.

Friday, April 22
5:30 p.m. -- Manchester Land Conservation 50th anniversary dinner at Georgina’s 275 Boston Tpke, Bolton.

6 - 8 p.m. -- Things That Make You Happy Art Exhibit opening at Culture Lab at Mahoney Center, 110 Cedar St.

7 p.m. -- Under My Skin: A Frank Sinatra Tribute at Cheney Hall.

Saturday, April 23
9 a.m. - noon -- Early Childhood Fair at Northwest Park, 448 Tolland Tpke.
9 a.m. - noon -- Bottle and can drive at St. James Church.

9 - 2 p.m. -- Earth Day 2022 Celebration, 39 Lodge Dr.

10 a.m. - noon -- Hop River State Park Trail clean-up day with various meeting points - rain or shine.
2 p.m. -- Painted Pillow Craft at Mary Cheney Library.

3-5 p.m. -- SOAR program at Northwest Park (autism family and friends)

7:30 p.m. -- History Series:The Podunk: Manchester's Indigenous People with Diane Hoover at the Lutz.

Monday, April 25

6 - 8 p.m. -- In-person Songwriters Group at 153 Spruce St.

7 p.m. -- BOE meeting at Lincoln Center.

Tuesday, April 26

5:30 p.m. -- Olmsted Birthday Stroll, starting at 146 Hartford Rd.

Wednesday, April 27
3:30 - 4:45 p.m. -- R.E.A.D. to a Dog (pre-school - grade 4) at Mary Cheney Library.

6 p.m. -- Middle School Nights at Mary Cheney Library.


Manchester Little League’s opening day is Saturday at Northwest Park.

Down The Road, Etc.

  • The American Legion Riders from Post 102 are hosting a Fish Fry Dinner on Friday, April 29.

  • Celebrate Manchester starts on June 2 and runs through June 11 with music, art, dance, a duck race and other activities.

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It was a busy Wednesday afternoon at the Barry Mitchell Sports Complex with the MHS girls softball team walking off with a 7-6 win over Simsbury and the Illing track team running past JFK Middle School.


The Manchester Police Athletic League is sponsoring a 3-on-3 summer basketball program on Friday nights starting June 17. It's being held at Charter Oak Park and there's more info here.

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Bennet Academy principal Joe Chella was wrapped in toilet paper on Wednesday during 'Dream Box Challenge' activities that students earned by completing 15 math lessons over two weeks. 168 fifth and sixth graders participated in 'minute to win it' games throughout the day.

Check the district's FB page to see Mr. Chella unwrapped, and for more pictures.

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OneManchester is compiled by Jim Farrell of the school district's communications office; he can be reached at or 860-268-6377. OneManchester has been published since August 2017 and features the photography of Paul Ofria. Want to subscribe? Just click here.