People in Haddam are fighting to save an elementary school as the school district moves ahead with plans to close and sell it.
Community members worry about losing their beloved Haddam Elementary School and hoped for a reprieve at a Board of Education meeting Tuesday night.
“My little girl loves the school. She cries when she comes home and thinks about her school closing," said parent Jennifer Petrillo.
Petrillo is among a passionate group fighting to keep the school open.
“It’s been a long year. A lot of time away from the family," she said.
Since the decision last year to shutter it at the end of this school year backlash has been growing in the community.
“It’s so torn and it’s so sad," said Regional School District 17 School Board Member Brenda Buzzi.
Buzzi and another board member threw out a Hail Mary at the meeting: a motion to delay the closure by a year.
“It got the heart racing. We were hoping it was going to change and then it backtracked and flip-flopped," said parent Megan Maynard.
Ultimately the effort failed.
And now the district will work with the towns that make up the district, Haddam and Killingworth, to look at a proposal by a developer to convert the school into apartments.
It’s now definitely a joint effort," said Joanne Nestia, the BOE chair.
Nesti defended a process that some in the community feels they have been left out of and has been rushed.
“We’re trying to be what’s good for a school district of 14,000 people," she said.
Supporters of closing the school say it comes as there are fewer kids in school in the district and consolidation can help save money.
Opponents say their fight to save it will continue.