Gate won’t be permanently closed at Andrew Avenue School

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By Elio Gugliotti, Editor

The gate at the entrance of Andrew Avenue Elementary School at Spencer Street in Naugatuck is shown closed on Jan. 7. Superintendent of Schools Christopher Montini said the gate will be closed from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on school days. –ANDREAS YILMA

NAUGATUCK — A closed gate at the entrance to Andrew Avenue Elementary School from Spencer Street won’t be a permanent measure.

The Naugatuck Police Department announced on its Facebook page earlier this month that the access gate to the school on Spencer Street has been closed permanently “in accordance with ongoing security upgrades and working in partnership with the Board of Education,” and that “permanent barriers” will be installed later this year.

Spencer Street cuts through school grounds and connects with Andrew Avenue, but officials say it’s not a public roadway. Members of the Board of Mayor and Burgesses this month agreed the gate should be closed during school, but balked at the idea of permanently blocking off the entrance.

Superintendent of Schools Christopher Montini said he met with Police Chief Steven Hunt, Fire Chief Paul Russell and public works officials last week to discuss the issue. He said officials decided the gate will only be closed from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on school days, which includes the time an after-school program is run at the school.

“We’re OK as long as it’s closed during school,” said Montini during the Board of Education’s Jan. 14 meeting.

Montini said officials could reassess keeping the gate closed permanently in the future if any safety issues arise.