Brokered by Andrew McDonald, Governor Dannel Malloy’s chief legal counsel, Bridgeport and Trumbull have moved a step closer to ironing out a land swap to pave the way for construction of a 1,500-student regional science magnet school.
Bridgeport and Trumbull officials met with McDonald in Hartford on Friday. The $125 million school was slated for construction on state-owned land, formerly a Bridgeport park, located in Trumbull. Bridgeport officials say the state will pay for 95 percent of construction costs and 100 percent of operating costs. The communities have been going back and forth regarding other associated costs such as road improvements and communications systems.
The land swap involves property where Bridgeport and Trumbull share a border in the Old Town Road area. Trumbull officials had originally signaled that they wanted the property swap for a sewage treatment plant near the Pequonnock River, an ambitious project loaded with tons of hurdles requiring DEP approval. Trumbull appears to be backing away from that stance saying the property exchange would now allow the town to continue its popular Rails to Trails Project. Bridgeport and Trumbull have also been involved in negotiations for a regional wastewater treatment authority. Bridgeport’s contract with Trumbull to process its wastewater ends in June 2012.
The state will help Bridgeport and Trumbull redraw property lines to complete the land swap placing the school in Bridgeport proper. The new boundaries will require legislative approval, something officials hope to complete in an emergency vote next week. A majority of the students will come from Bridgeport with the rest from area towns. The land swap is not a done deal yet but both sides now seem headed in the same direction.