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Brookfield, Conn.: Lakeside Homes, Good Schools and, Soon, a Town Center

Brookfield, Conn.: Lakeside Homes, Good Schools and, Soon, a Town Center

Among the town’s restaurants is Down the Hatch, Candlewood Lake’s only waterfront eatery, complete with dock facilities for hungry boaters.

The Schools

Brookfield’s nearly 2,800 school-age children are served by the Brookfield Public School District, which includes Center Elementary for prekindergartners through first graders, Huckleberry Hill Elementary for second through fourth graders, Whisconier Middle School for Grades 5 through 8 and Brookfield High School. Center Elementary, built in 1938, is one of the only remaining wooden school buildings in Connecticut.

On 2016 fourth-grade state assessment tests, 70 percent met English language arts standards, compared with 55.6 percent statewide; 63 percent met mathematics standards, compared with 48 percent statewide.

Mean SAT scores for the graduating class of 2017 were 575 in evidence-based reading and writing and 550 in math; statewide equivalents were 524 and 505.

The Commute

Accessible from two exits off Interstate 84, Brookfield is less than an hour’s drive from Hartford and Stamford, in Connecticut, and White Plains, N.Y. “We’re equidistant from these major employment areas,” Ms. McCaffrey said. “So if people change jobs, they don’t have to move again.”

Commuters to Manhattan, 70 miles southwest, can drive about 20 miles into New York to catch Metro-North Railroad’s Harlem line at the Southeast, Brewster or Purdys stations. Rush-hour trains between Southeast and Grand Central Terminal take 80 to 95 minutes; to and from Brewster, 75 to 92 minutes; to and from Purdys, 66 to 84 minutes. Monthly fare from each station is $422.

The History

For more than three decades, a rusty old railroad bridge over Junction Road has served as an ever-changing D.I.Y. community billboard. Painted mostly by high school students, it has announced coming events and celebrated sports team victories. When a popular young science teacher died in 2008, it was adorned with “RIP MR Z.” Known as Graffiti Bridge, it was built in 1915 and is owned by the Housatonic Railroad. It was painted to memorialize the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks and, later, those of the nearby Sandy Hook shooting. “After Sandy Hook, we did the bridge and nobody touched it for years,” Mr. Dunn said. “But then time moves on.”

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