About two dozen residents attended an informational meeting Thursday on the new Charter Oak International Academy magnet school building.
The new building will be constructed near the old school building, which was opened in 1929.
Representatives from the architecture firm of Perkins Eastman of Stamford answered questions and took input from residents on areas such as building design, site layout, school access issues and school safety.
Several residents said they would like to preserve at least some, if not most, of the character of the old building.
One resident said that her son, a Charter Oak student, would like a courtyard. Others said that they wanted to ensure that the trees would remain unscathed.
Most said that they wanted the school set back from the street and sidewalk, as that look is more inviting to the neighborhood.
Another resident expressed concern over the cramped gym at the current building. A Perkins Eastman architect said that the gym at the new building would be at least twice the size of the current one.
One resident wanted stadium seating in the auditorium.
Many expressed their concerns over access to the new school; the current location does not provide easy access for dropping off students, particularly in inclement weather.
Chip Ward, the director of finance and planning for West Hartford schools, said that the timetable for the new school is the following:
Concept design feedback - End of October/early November
Review schematic design - December 2013
Approval of schematic - January 2014
Approval of final design - June/July 2014