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Girl Scouts Propose a Guardhouse at Sandy Hook School

A guardhouse would keep police officers warm, while securing the school campus during harsh weather conditions.

Temperatures have been frigid on some days this winter, as Monroe police officers keep photographers and reporters, some from as far away as Belgium, away from Sandy Hook Elementary School on Fan Hill Road.

Girl Scout Troop 34255 wants to build a guardhouse in the driveway leading to Sandy Hook and Jockey Hollow schools as a place for officers to step out of the cold, while securing the campus.

"They're all freezing their butts off," Girl Scout Alexis Woitowitz told the Board of Education at its meeting Monday night, causing the Masuk High School Media Center to erupt into laughter.

Construction of the guardhouse would be the troop's Silver Award Project, which is something that must have a long-term benefit for the community.

Alexis said the guardhouse would be just beyond the first speed bump in the driveway and be painted green and white in honor of Sandy Hook.

The troop has parents, who could help the Girl Scouts make the project a reality. Alexis' father, David, is an architect with J.P. Franzen Associates Architects, P.C., in Fairfield and Kira Fitch's father, Don, is a home builder.

The project will need approval from the Board of Education, which owns the property, from the Planning & Zoning Commission and from the Town Council, which would vote on whether to accept the gift.

"I think it's a wonderful idea, but that we should talk to the police department too," said Mark Antinozzi, a school board member.

Antinozzi said police may want to consider whether to have an officer stationed in one spot or to have a roaming patrol.

David Woitowitz said, "We talked to some officers and they could use some shelter."

Kelly Plunkett, a board member, asked how long the project would take.

Troop Leader Jennifer Bridge said the goal is to have the guardhouse up and running by next school year at the latest.

Woitowitz said the guardhouse would be about 5-by-8-feet and that the work could be done on his Jockey Hollow Road property before securing it to a small foundation in the driveway.

"Building the structure is the easy part," he said.

Board of Education Vice Chairwoman Donna Lane, who served as chairman in Darrell Trump's absence, asked the Girl Scouts to come back with drawings at a future meeting that the board could review and approve, before the proposal moves forward to the P&Z and Town Council.

Woitowitz said there are more than enough businesses willing to donate funding and materials for the project.

Harriette Trevino, whose daughter Eliana is a Girl Scout, said, "Imagine how much these girls are going to learn from this procedure — and us."

Big Boy February 05, 2013 at 10:32 AM
Why not move the guard house to the general gateway to the school campus which would include Fawn Hollow Elementary School? It's a great scout project idea.
Bill Bittar (Editor) February 05, 2013 at 01:55 PM
The architect said the turn from Fan Hill Road would be too tight if it were at the end of the driveway.
blackie February 05, 2013 at 02:03 PM
That's a fantastic idea Alexis!! Cudos to you and your Dad! We should have them at all of the schools. It would be pretty much non-intrusive and a good first line of defense.
Robynne Wildman February 05, 2013 at 03:39 PM
Great idea. Good for the Girl Scouts, good for the officers, good for the town. Am a proud Monroe native, now I'm also a proud Monroe Girl Scout!
jim laguardia February 05, 2013 at 03:42 PM
Please GREEN LIGHT this project!!!! No red tape please
Crown Royal February 05, 2013 at 04:17 PM
I was going to say something about first getting an idea on whether they will even use the school next year, but it doesn't really matter. It won't cost the town any money, its will be a great lesson for the girls, and jockey hollow will still possibly find use of it if/when SHES decides they can go back to Newtown. I would however say that the presence of the police cruiser is a very big deterrent which you may not achieve if the officer is in the hut.
jim laguardia February 05, 2013 at 08:49 PM
I can just see it now, we would like more colonial looking features, and the landscaping around it needs some revisions......
Mary E Tormey February 05, 2013 at 11:35 PM
What an excellent idea, that would make it a lot more difficult for Autism Speaks to harvest brains and collect money in the names of dead children.
jim laguardia February 06, 2013 at 12:27 AM
Wwwwwhhhhhaaaaaaatttt????????
cmu268 February 06, 2013 at 12:39 AM
huh? i don't think you're in the right place...
Alex February 06, 2013 at 12:49 AM
um... what?
jim laguardia February 06, 2013 at 12:59 AM
Right place???? Right planet either...
BIGANT February 06, 2013 at 09:41 PM
Just park the police cruiser next to or in front of the guard house.
Kathleen Jiang March 26, 2013 at 10:08 PM
if Caitlyn is reading this, congrats girl.

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