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Sharon school murals proposed

SHARON — A proposal that would have two murals installed at Sharon Center School (SCS) with a sculpture to be added in a later phase was presented at the regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday, Jan. 24.

Reviewing the plan was SCS art teacher Lilly Barnett, asking for town funding for a mural to be painted on an unadorned outside wall of the school. The proposal is part of an ongoing effort to upgrade the art program at the school, Barnett explained, and that an art committee has been formed to further that goal.

“It’s a big project, but it’s also an honor,” Barnett said. “I’m learning as I go.”

As part of a first phase, Barnett reported that a $2,000 grant from the Millennium Fund has made possible an indoor mural. The students are working on the indoor mural with the Wassaic Project.

The outdoor mural’s theme would be expected to be similar to that of the indoor mural, but it would be the work of one of five artists to be competitively chosen by the art committee. The committee has already chosen the five artists who would be solicited for design proposals.

A total to complete the entire art enhancement project was estimated at $30,000. To get started, Barnett said, the art committee was requesting $15,000 this year, possibly to be found in the town’s Virginia Brown account or the Silly Putty Fund. The mural artist would receive $10,000 and the balance would go toward supplies and incidentals.

The sculpture aspect of the plan would require another $15,000 to complete.

While the project is in its preliminary stages, Barnett said that she is contacting the Board of Education seeking funding, as well as the town and other organizations.

First Selectman Brent Colley said that he would include news of the art initiative in the town-wide newsletter to encourage the possibility of contributions from residents. The selectmen agreed to discuss the proposal at their next meeting.

An American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds request from the American Legion Post 126 asking to amend its approved application for a heating system, seeking to add air conditioning, did not win approval.

Although the request was considered, selectman Dale Jones indicated that he would “have a hard time” justifying using the funding for air conditioning in part because it is unknown whether the town would ever own the building and whether the structure would actually need central air conditioning.

Responding to residents’ concerns about a dangerous three-way intersection where King Hill Road and Hospital Hill Road meet Sharon Valley, Colley reported that the state traffic authority indicated that the selectmen have the authority to place stop signs on town roads as they see fit.

Resident Margaret Keilty who has lived at the intersection for 46 years has attended recent selectmen’s meetings to voice safety concerns describing numerous accidents and near-misses due to speeding and inattentiveness.

Accordingly, the selectmen agreed unanimously to begin by installing one stop sign at the foot of Hospital Hill Road as a start to see if that solves the problem, by allowing Sharon Valley traffic to have the right of way through the intersection. A stop sign already exists at the foot of King Hill Road.

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