50 Years Ago: Build a junior high ASAP

The Citizens Advisory Committee on Secondary School Facilities proposed the immediate construction of 1,200 pupil junior high school near the center of town but not on the site of the East Ridge high school, the Oct. 11, 1962 Press reported.

“The need is so obvious, we can only add that time is of the essence. What is to be done must be done as quickly as possible without sacrificing standards,” the report stated.

The committee also recommended the addition of facilities for about 450 students to the East Ridge School, which would then become a senior high school only for grades 10 through 12.

The Board of Education announced that the “new math” would be introduced to Ridgefield’s elementary schools in about three years.  Under the authorized plan recommended by school superintendent Dr. Philip R. Pitruzello, Mrs. Hope Gilchrist, head of the high school math department, would give a course on the new math to about 30 elementary school teachers, giving them time to evaluate the program and revise the curriculum, which had not been done in more than 10 years.

First Selectman Leo F. Carroll reported that Gilbert Street, Catoonah and a section of High Ridge would be resurfaced with two inches of bituminous concrete (blacktop). Fifty years ago those roads were surfaced with concrete which had been laid in 1925.

The Ridgefield Townies Inc., the town’s chief sports supporting agency, announced a re-organization program. At a meeting conducted by Donald Ligos, president, the townies amended their by-laws to require that all programs be self-supporting. The townies also announced a winter program which included an awards dinner in October to complete the softball season, the creation of a volley ball league, Little League basketball program, basketball league and traveling team, two bowling leagues and a bowling tournament.

The Ridgefield Playhouse on Prospect Street featured “Lolita” with Sue Lyons, James Mason, Peter Sellers and Shelly Winters, followed later in the week by “Bird Man of Alcatraz” starring Burt Lancaster, Telly Savalas and Thelma Ritter.

Sylvia Sturges was elected “Mrs. State Fair” at a dinner party on that theme at the Congregational Church House.

Five boys received trophies at the first annual Babe Ruth banquet at the Italian American Club. Billy Rittenhouse of the Reds won Rookie of the Year; Rick Karwoski of the Reds was runs-batted-in championship; Phil Mitchell of Hoffman Fuel was the most valuable player and pitching champion; Ricky Hunt of the Vikings was named strike-out champion; and Rich Dingee of the Vikings was batting champ.

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