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."