To the Editor:

Region 12 has hired a firm, Kerin & Fazio, to conduct a real-estate impact study.

The purpose of this study is to find out if communities who close their only school would experience an adverse impact on real estate values.

The firm has hit a snag as its initial findings show that every town in the state of Connecticut has a school. The firm is now looking to find "comparable" towns in other states.

We represent seven new families who have recently moved into the town of Bridgewater. We all have children either enrolled at the Burnham School, or children who we intend to enroll at the Burnham School.

There are many reasons why we chose Bridgewater, Connecticut, to raise our families.

By far the most important consideration was the local schools. Bridgewater represents all that we were looking for: a high quality education, a small school close to home and a tight-knit community.

We also recognize that, with a school in town, there are many other family-friendly services, programs and events that naturally follow.

Bridgewater has a wonderful recreation center, playgrounds, summer camp programs, a children's librarian, an annual fishing derby, Easter egg hunts, etc.

It would be unlikely that these services and children-focused activities would continue without a local school to draw new families into the town.

We would not have considered Bridgewater without a hometown school. If Region 12 consolidates in Washington, it would be highly unlikely we would have chosen Bridgewater, which is the farthest away from the proposed elementary school.

We hope this "real" data will help to solve the question regarding real estate values.

Is there an impact if you close the only school in town?

Absolutely.

You will lose a whole segment of prospective buyers.

Dawn and Fred Basli

Suzanne and

John Creech

Erin and

David Elovecky

Diana and Jeff Kelly

Shannon and

Zach Klaus

Megan and

Alex Romanoff

Amanda Telford

and Morgan Hill

Bridgewater