Duff: $1.7M State grants helps complete new Side by Side Middle School construction

Side by Side School Director Matthew Nittoly and State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25)mark funding for the school’s construction Thursday in South Norwalk. (Contributed)

NORWALK, Conn. – This is a press release, presented in a slightly altered format from which it was sent:


Norwalk, CT – Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) joined Side by Side School Director Matthew Nittoly and state and local officials today to announce that, as part of the recently approved bipartisan state budget, the General Assembly has approved an additional $1.7 million grant to help Side by Side complete construction of a new, permanent middle school. Sen. Duff and Norwalk lawmakers played a critical role in securing the much-needed funding.

“Side by Side is an important community resource,” said Senator Duff “The new William O. Murphy Upper School Building at Side by Side will facilitate a creative and positive educational environment which will help motivate students to engage in the learning process. I am proud to have helped secure this investment by the state which will allow the Side by Side School to continue to invest in its students.”

Side by Side is a public charter school with a focus on challenging students to develop their unique talents while fostering partnerships with local cultural organizations that empower students to become active members of the Norwalk community.  The modular building that houses the middle school, originally purchased as a temporary solution, has long outlived its usefulness.  This funding will permit the construction of a permanent facility. Eighty-seven percent of Side by Side students are Norwalk residents.

“We are grateful for Senator Duff’s commitment to Side by Side and for his unwavering efforts to ensure that the school construction grant award for Side by Side be increased sufficiently to cover all of the costs associated with our new building construction project,” said Side by Side’s Executive Director, Matthew Nittoly. “The construction of the 11,600 square foot William O. Murphy Upper School Building at Side by Side is on schedule to open in the fall of 2018.  A new building of this sort has been a dream since our inception and thanks to Senator Duff it is soon to become a reality.”

“Legislative colleagues on both sides of the aisle agree – the most effective investment we can make for a healthy economy, stable neighborhoods and thriving communities is in education and the educational infrastructure,” Rep. Bruce Morris said. “I look forward to the completion of this school and for all of the students that will receive a top-notch education there.”


This press release was posted as a public service. A press release is a written announcement submitted to news organizations to publicize an event or activity, a milestone or a point of view. NancyOnNorwalk has not researched the assertions made and takes no responsibility for the content.

One comment

Rick January 11, 2018 at 9:53 pm

once again we find reasons not to be happy until all the facts are in.

We cant take the word of Sheila Cohen is president of the Connecticut Education Association but there are things to digest

The state cannot continue to allow charter expansion without true oversight, full transparency, and thorough accountability — especially when the result creates a greater financial crisis and negatively impacts the majority of students in traditional public schools, which are already underfunded by more than $700 million per year.(June of last year)

Horror stories out of Nj raises flags also on Charter Schools.

Not many take the words

“Side by Side is an important community resource,” said Senator Duff as worth very much.

Pro and con was my thought, have we been conned once again or has this been a rare occasion where the city didn’t need the money instead?

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