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Construction Of New High School To Replace Harding Advances, Projected Completion Early 2018

December 20th, 2016 · 7 Comments · Development and Zoning, Education, News and Events

Harding 2016 rendering

Rendering of Harding project.

Years in the making, city officials say construction for a new school off Boston Avenue to replace the decaying Harding High School is progressing with an anticipated completion date of March 2018 for the $106 million project. The state will cover 78.21 percent of the cost on roughly 17 acres formerly owned by General Electric that was once the site of a major munitions factory. The State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection paved the way for construction of a new school nearly two years ago. Read DEEP clean-up decision here.

Initiated during the mayoral years of Bill Finch, city officials say all trade union contracts were issued this month. Finch proposed to rename the school after President Barack Obama, but whether the Board of Education will keep the name or designate a new one is unclear.

The 210,000-square-foot school will accommodate 1,150 students including a football field, baseball field, and eight-lane running track.

In 2013, the city and GE identified a portion of the company’s nearly 77-acre parcel that would be suitable for the construction of the new high school. That same year the City and GE entered into a site access agreement, followed by a remediation plan approved by the school board.

O&G is program manager of the project. Project officials shared some highlights of the construction timeline:

* Construction on the site started in August of 2015

* As of December 2016 ALL TRADES contracts have been issued.

* Grandstand is installed

* Sitework ongoing–99% of the site is at sub grade level with clean soil being placed on the site.

* Site utilities are being installed

* Concrete footings are being installed

* Turf anchor curbing is being installed

* Synthetic turf being installed in Spring 2017

* Structural Steel in fabrication

* GE is working on the Solar Field with completion in mid March 2017

* Construction completion scheduled for March 2018

Harding

The current Harding High campus. Aerial courtesy of Morgan Kaolian.

Bridgeport Hospital adjacent to the current Harding High School would like the property for its expansion plans.

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7 Comments so far ↓

  • Hector A. Diaz

    Why do “new” schools in urban areas look like prisons, while those built in the suburbs resemble Country Clubs?

  • barney

    Hector,
    I couldn’t agree more. True story.
    Several years back when McKinley school closed and they opened Tisdale, we were walking the students into the new school for the first time.
    The question the students asked the most that day was: “Where are the guards?” The students claimed the school looked like a jail where the guards walk above the prisoners.

  • Ron Mackey

    The mindset of this school goes back to the 1950s, it’s called social engineering. Build the school the same way they did public housing, build it straight up and pack them in just like prisons. They could make this high school like other high schools that are designed to look and have the feel of a college environment. But no, we want them to feel like they are in prison.

  • Stringfellow

    A new school that is part of a school administration that cannot agree on the time of day. Then there are the students who want to be in school to learn but have to dodge the daily distractions that plague the school. Until the school administration get serious on education, a new building isn’t going to change the same old problems.

  • Bob Halstead

    GE should never have been demolished. PERIOD!

  • Jimfox

    Remington Arms and GE used this property as a dumping ground, it is not surprising contaminated soils are still there.
    PCBs were also commonly used in many materials, such as transformers, degreaser and other machine cutting oils, before the federal government banned their production in 1979.
    Let’s not find out the way Greenwich High School did, I would like to see another round of testing before I send my kid to that school.

  • Maria Pereira

    I agree with all the comments above. I was completely against this project, and still am today.

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