Donation will help bring Housy science center to life
FALLS VILLAGE â€” The 21st Century Fund for Housatonic Valley Regional High School announced a donation of $100,000 from an anonymous local donor to its Science and Technology Center Building Fund last week.
The gift is made in memory of Daniel Scott Parsons, Housatonic class of 1991. The son of Joan and the late Carl Parsons of Music Mountain in Falls Village, Dan lost his life in a car accident on Dec. 30, 1994, at the age of 21. His interest in books and writing is honored through the Daniel Parsons Memorial Scholarship awarded annually to a graduating Housatonic senior who will major in English.
â€œItâ€™s a three-phase campaign,â€ said Jack Mahoney of the 21st Century Fundâ€™s efforts for the refurbishment of the former Clark Wood building at Housatonic. The former agricultural education center is being turned into a building dedicated to the study of science and technology, and can be used by the schoolâ€™s award-winning robotics and Envirothon teams. â€œWe need to get to $200,000 before we can start work. This donation gets us to about $137,000.â€
Members of the projectâ€™s Action Committee who secured the donation are Frank Perotti of North Canaan (long-time chair of the high schoolâ€™s Building Committee), and volunteer architect Einar Lindholm of Cornwall.
Mahoney said he wrote earlier this week to three possible sources for donations. In the meantime, through a general appeal about a month ago, Lynn Nania, treasurer, said she had received â€œa bunchâ€ of $25 donations, and an â€œamazing amountâ€ of checks for $100. The biggest single contribution in the general appeal is $500.
â€œI am really pleased,â€ Nania said. â€œPeople like the idea, and they have really stepped up.â€
Phase I â€œallows us to open the doors,â€ said Mahoney. Renovation, utilities, a new roof and the code work need to be completed before the space is opened, initially, to the robotics team and students working on the national Envirothon competition.
â€œWeâ€™re starting out modestly,â€ Mahoney said. â€œGradually, over time, the science and technology teachers will be able to send students over.â€
Mahoney said there will be a viewing area for the public to see whatâ€™s going on.
â€œWe want to get to a point where every afternoon the Wood Center is as busy as the artgarage.â€
The artgarage is one portion of the Wood building, and is used for after-school arts programs for students at the high school. Professional artists from the area volunteer there and help with projects.
Donations may be sent to the 21st Century Fund, PO Box 132, Falls Village, CT 06031.