- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 2, 2018

MERIDEN, Conn. (AP) - Marveling at the newly installed electronics and towering windows, parents and alumni from as far back as the 1960s were re-introduced to the new Meriden high schools by students and staff on Saturday.

“Everyone says: ‘wow,’ ” said Platt High School Principal Robert Montemurro, also a Platt alumnus. “The auditorium is our show piece.”

“It’s like a completely different school,” said Gary Palardy, a 1978 Platt graduate who toured the school with his wife and fellow Platt graduate, M.J. Palardy. “They’ve got so many opportunities that we didn’t have.”

Renovations to Platt were completed last fall, while work on Maloney High School was completed in November 2016.

“Every surface has been changed,” said Maloney Principal Jennifer Straub, herself a Platt alumnus. “They love the wow factors.”

A half dozen members of the Maloney senior class joined Straub in welcoming around 20 visitors, some coming from as far as Indianapolis. The event was held Saturday so graduates returning home for the holidays could visit their old schools.

Aside from the wheeled desks and chairs, students said the large, bright windows and technology were the biggest hits among the visitors who once copied notes off blackboards.

“They love the windows in the pool area and how it lets the natural light in,” said student Brianna Moyer.

With three glass walls, Platt’s new media center underlines the school’s bright, open design, which is aimed at encouraging collaboration. Both high schools feature plenty of spots where teachers and students can work together in groups and desks and chairs now sport wheels so teachers can easily group them together.

“It’s not the old chalk and talk,” Montemurro said of teaching the approximately 2,000 students who attend the two high schools.

Kenneth Kaiser, of Meriden, said he came to tour Platt because he “wanted to see what we have here.”

He called the school “amazing” and that it could be mistaken for a college campus.

“It’s a whole new ball game going to school now,” Kaiser said.


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Information from: Record-Journal, http://www.record-journal.com

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