Milford school gym gets fresh coat of paint

MILFORD – Ryan Sheehan was wielding a paint brush in Bales School recently, helping spruce up the gym as a way to give back.

The 120-year-old building has seen better days, and it now houses the district’s Sage School, a place Sheehan says turned his life around.

Sheehan is 23 and will enter the Navy in a few months and plans to get married at the end of the year.

Not many years ago he was a student at Sage, an alternative school that aims to educate students in grades six through 12 who are considered high risk or have a serious emotional disability.

The school, he said, “helped me have a better life,”

Last week Sheehan was volunteering with fellow employees from College Bound Movers, but he was also there for himself, to repay a debt.

“If it wasn’t for” the Sage School, his future would have been dim, he said.

Also volunteering last week, were Milford Police Officer Mike Dowd, the school district’s resource officer, Stan Kankowski, from the Milford Rotary Club, and school district employees, including Johanna Johnson, the school district’s director of special services.

Paint came from Lowe’s Home Improvement. which gave the project a $5,000 grant.

School custodians will repair and paint the ceiling, said Johnson, “so it looks nice by the time students come back,” and protective Plexiglas will be installed on the upper windows.

Bales School was once Milford Elementary School and before that it was Centennial High School, built in the year of the town’s 100th birthday.

The gym also is used by the Milford Community Athletic Association and by the recreation department’s men’s basketball teams.