The Danbury City Council has voted to take advantage of a gubernatorial executive order and have the 21 members vote on a $99 million bond, rather than hold a referendum for all City residents to weigh in.
The money would be used for the proposed middle and high school Career Academy on the City's west side, with 80-percent reimbursement from the state.
In a normal year, residents would have been asked to go to the polls to sign off on the massive funding for the project. The executive order allowed municipalities to take public health and safety into account and cast a de facto vote. Some Council members objected to not going to referendum, noting that there were higher COVID-19 infection rates and no vaccinations when residents went to the polls for the November elections.
Superintendent Sal Pascarella touted the academy, calling it the first of its kind in Connecticut. He says it's a win for Danbury children as the district deals with growing enrollment, and a win for education as a whole as a model in the state.
The academy would be constructed at The Summit, a mixed-use development in the 1.2 million-square-foot former Union Carbide world headquarters, which was later the Matrix Center. Danbury must meet an October 1st deadline for state reimbursement.