Nothing like moving around dirt for new school construction four weeks before a big election in Black Rock, the highest voter turnout area of the city. Yes, one big happy family. And who knows, maybe a few more announcements over the next four weeks? Hmmm, could a few absentee ballots be buried underneath the pile? Were City Council challengers Rick Torres and Phil Blagys spying aboard their bicycle built for two? News release from Mayor Bill Finch:
Black Rock School students cheered and joined in the effort as Mayor Bill Finch, Supt. Paul G. Vallas, City Council members, State Representatives and tradespeople turned over the ‘ceremonial’ dirt for the new addition to Black Rock School on Tuesday afternoon.
The 18,000 square-foot addition includes 10 new classrooms, a multipurpose room that can serve as a gymnasium and assembly space, elevator access to all floors to make it ADA compliant, two new playground structures and a new entrance area on School Street. The addition was designed by Newman Associates of New Haven. Bismark Construction is the construction manager and Premier Construction Mac LLC is the joint venture partner on the project. The addition will cost $8.8 million, with the state paying 80 percent. Construction is expected to be complete by August 2014.
“My administration has worked very aggressively to improve our school facilities, either through the building of new schools or significantly upgrading existing buildings. The students of Bridgeport deserve a learning environment that gives them an opportunity to grow, learn and compete in the 21st century economy,” said Mayor Bill Finch. “The addition to the school gives the children of Black Rock a state-of-the-art building and allows the Black Rock School community the same K-8 environment that other schools in the City have, which I know is very important to the parents and students.”
“The expansion of Black Rock School to include 7th and 8th grade is a win for both the school district and the community,” said Superintendent Paul Vallas, “We are grateful to neighborhood parents and to the City and State for their partnership in creating the chance for students to have access to state-of-the-art facilities and remain in their community school until the transition to high school.
“I am thrilled that our persistence has brought this project to fruition. The parents at Black Rock School worked tirelessly with the city to be certain this project maintained its place as a top priority,” said 130th District City Council representative Susan Brannelly. “Our goal is to keep young families in our city with high quality schools to educate their children. This project will help us all considerably to reach that goal.”
“This addition will make Black Rock School a top-notch neighborhood school facility, providing students with a cohesive learning environment until they are ready to move on to high school and further increasing the desirability of the neighborhood,” said 130th district City Council representative Steven Stafstrom Jr. “Susan and I want to thank the Mayor and our Council colleagues for their support in keeping this project on track, and State Rep. Auden Grogins for her support in ensuring the receipt of state funding for the project.”
“Bridgeport students deserve this long-awaited addition and improvements to Black Rock School which will enhance the educational environment for teachers and students alike,” said State Rep. Auden Grogins. “I would like to thank Mayor Finch and our City Council members, Susan Brannelly and Steven Stafstrom, for their help and support on this.”