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3/5/2015 - New High School to Replace 90-Year-Old Harding High School Moves One Step Closer

“DEEP’s decision allows us to move one step closer to bringing kids in the East Side and East End a new school that will be a high-quality learning environment and equipped with state-of-the-art facilities that they need to thrive. In turn, it will help ensure more Bridgeport kids are prepared for college and competing for 21st century jobs.” –  Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch

Bridgeport, Conn. (March 5, 2015) – Mayor Bill Finch’s plan for a new high school to replace the 90-year-old Harding High School moved one step closer to becoming a reality today as the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) issued a final decision clearing the plan from GE to clean the site on Boston Avenue that will serve as home of the new state-of-the-art high school.

“In Bridgeport, we are focused on preparing our kids to compete for the jobs of tomorrow. In order to do just that, we’re giving more kids access to high-quality pre-k, and we’re building new schools in order to ensure our kids are learning in the right environment,” said Bridgeport Mayor Finch. “DEEP’s decision allows us to move one step closer to bringing kids in the East Side and East End a new school that will be a high-quality learning environment and equipped with state-of-the-art facilities that they need to thrive. In turn, it will help ensure more Bridgeport kids are prepared for college and competing for 21st century jobs.”

The nearly $80 million new high school will be a 145,000-square-foot, four-story masonry and glass structure. The site includes a football field, baseball field, and eight-lane running track. The school, built for 1,150 students, will include 55 classrooms. For a rendering of the new high school, click here: http://bridgeportschoolconstruction.com/school/harding-high-school/.

The new high school to replace Harding High School is a part of an aggressive school construction program initiated under the leadership of Mayor Finch. This initiative includes renovating and building schools so that kids can learn in the right environment, and has resulted in the creation of more than 3,000 jobs.  Nearly $730 million has been invested in current, completed and future school construction projects.  Once finished, more than half of Bridgeport kids will be attending new or renovated schools.

GE has owned the land at 1285 Boston Avenue that will serve as the future home of the new high school since 1920. The site was home to a manufacturing facility until 2007. GE began deconstruction of the property in 2010 and completed the deconstruction in 2012.  

Since 2002, the City of Bridgeport has searched for an appropriate site to construct a new high school in the eastern portion of the city. In 2013, the city and GE tentatively identified a portion of the company’s 76.5 acre parcel that would be suitable for the construction of the new high school. On Feb. 5, 2013, the City of Bridgeport and GE entered into a site access agreement.

Today’s decision is another step forward in the approval process for the new high school. To read DEEP’s decision, click here: http://bit.ly/1BM0JZR. The new building design for the high school must be voted on by the Bridgeport Board of Education, which has already approved the site selection in April 2013 and the site plan in April 2014.

Mayor Finch has publicly stated that he would like to name the new high school Barack Obama High School. Click here to read more: http://bit.ly/1BUNwiQ.