Page 48 - Wallingford Magazine Holiday 2020 Issue 30
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by the original members. But by 1985, the decision was moot since the terms in dispute had already expired.
One lasting impact, however, came out of the Superior Court’s decision. The Connecticut precedent was set that no elected public official, no matter what a town charter states, could be recalled. Voters would have to wait until the next election. This precedent would be true for Wallingford and every other Connecticut municipality.
With a new BOE, no sooner did Parker Farms close in September, 1983 when in the spring 1984, a study was initi- ated to determine what needed to be done to renovate Park- er Farms School so it could be reopened. On March 25, 1985, the BOE approved the reopening of Parker Farms School that year by a 7-2 vote.
Parker Farms was reopened in September 1985 after an investment of $2.5 million in renovations. The school had been vandalized while vacant. In addition, asbestos removal, and reroofing added to the total cost.
Now, it was Yalesville’s turn to be closed. It would stay closed until 1996. After major renovations and additions, it was reopened in September 1996. Renovations and improve- ments of over $11 M created a state-of-the-art school. It now had a new cafeteria and gym, a two-story classroom addition and a music room.
In August 2017, Yalesville School officially changed its name to the Mary G. Fritz Elementary School. The Town Council voted unanimously in September 2016 to rename the elementary school in memory of Mary Fritz who passed in July 2016. She was the 90th District Democratic state rep- resentative for 32 years, a Wallingford Board of Education chairwoman and local teacher. She was one-time president of the Yalesville PTA and taught at Moran Middle School. Her career in politics, representing the Yalesville section of Wall- ingford, strongly favored education.
At the Mary G. Fritz Elementary School open house cer- emony, State Senator Len Fasano summed up Mary’s life, “She loved children, she loved education, she adored living in Yalesville.....She’d be so proud of this community, and her family.”
When I started the journey of school system discovery a few years back, I would never have guessed the Mary Fritz school’s location was the “Granddaddy Of All Wallingford School Locations!” . For close to two centuries, Wallingford school system has maintained an elementary school at this location albeit with many building iterations.
It all started in 1715, when Yalesville farmers petitioned for a school near their homesteads in the north west Walling- ford section. Back then, the Yalesville district referred to the area which occupied the old Yankee Silversmith, now a Sonic Drive-In. The petition was honored, and a one-room school- house was built. A student named Lyman Hall attended this school for a period.
While no new school buildings have been built since 1971, there have been changes in grades assigned to the schools, expansion and/or creation of new programs, and also renova- tions and additions.
Pre-school programs were initiated in the late 1980’s due to federal and state funding initiatives. In 2010, all elemen- tary schools were converted either into a pre-school to 2nd grade school or 3rd grade to 5th grade school.
The Wallingford public school building programs’ arc starts with little one room schoolhouses in the early 1700’s to its twelve buildings today.
Stevens K-2 310
Moses Y Beach K-2 307
Highland K-2 290
house was referred to as Tyler Mills. The Tyler family ran the town’s corn and fulling mills on the site of the present-day Westbrook Lobster restaurant for over 100 years.
 By 1800, the Yalesville district had expanded, and a one room school was built on the corner of Church and Hanover Street Today, that location is the site of Yalesville public li- brary branch. In 1810, Charles Yale purchased this property from Samuel Tyler’s estate and the entire section then be- came to be known as Yalesville. Hence the name Yalesville, which if not purchased by Charles Yale probably would have been known today as Tylersville.
 The next iteration was built in 1873 and was “affectionate- ly” called the Old Green Jail by some of its students because its exterior walls were green. This started as a two-classroom school, while its second floor was used for meetings and other activities until more classrooms were needed. This building lasted until 1948-49 when the first brick structure was erected on the site. The current Mary Fritz School is the fifth school built on this site.
     Cook Hill
Rock Hill
Pond Hall
Parker Farms
Mary Fritz
Lyman Hall
K-2 343
3-5 296
3-5 255
3-5 238
3-5 306
6-8 655
6-8 603
9-12 1048
9-12 757
         But the first school built on the location the current Mary Fritz school occupies, was a one room schoolhouse. At that time, this area was known as Tyler’s Mills. The school-
In addition, the Wallingford school system supports six special education programs with a collective enrollment of approximately 100 students.
Wallingford Magazine – Holiday 2020

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