Approval To Replace Harding High School Advancing

General Electric property
A new high school to replace Harding is slated for construction on General Electric property off Boston Avenue. Image courtesy of Morgan Kaolian.

From Keila Torres Ocasio, CT Post:

Plans for a new four-story Harding High School and state-of-the-art athletic fields on 17 acres at the General Electric Co.’s Boston Avenue property will go before the local zoning and wetlands boards this month.

“It’s an exciting project,” said Jorge Garcia, the school district’s deputy director of Public Facilities.

For years, officials have talked of replacing the 89-year-old high school building on Central Avenue. This year, GE donated a portion of its 77-acre property for that purpose. The school, parking lot, and athletic fields would take up about 8 percent of the property and would face Bond Street.

Read full story here.



  1. The Board of Education needs to pay careful attention to the long-term operating cost of the new facility. For example, will facilities for new programs lead to new faculty, staff and operating costs? Where will that money come from?

    1. Phil, this is a point well taken. On one level it is very exciting a new high school will be built. However, one worries about the operating costs over time. For example, a former councilman once told me how the heating costs in the new schools were astounding partly due to larger windows used in the facade.

      A parallel issue has been raised with the Bridgeport Housing Authority’s (BHA) plan to build housing in a FEMA flood zone (the current L.I. Ferry parking lot). The sustainability of this site is questionable. For example, because the development is in a FEMA flood zone, this automatically makes it more expensive to build and to maintain due in part to regulatory requirements. The other issue has do with costs associated with families being displaced in a storm. For example, will the 200+ people be housed in a school gym, hotel? Who will pay for this? What about the fire department and police resources necessary to evacuate families? And what about inspections of the structure to ensure families can return after the storm? These are all costs that can be prevented by building in a more logical location. And the way things are going at the Federal level, there is no reason to believe there will be increased funding overtime for maintenance. Yet these are decisions that will haunt the city, region, and taxpayers later. The BHA owns viable land that is not in a flood zone, these problems can actually be avoided.

  2. 17 acres of the 77-acre property is not 8%, it’s 22%. And no renderings per FINCH’s request. Why the lies and secrets? What a joke. More land off the tax rolls.

  3. All about the money and the union contracts. Vallas and Finch have done their jobs well. Absolutely right, this facility has no impact on quality education. Property off the tax rolls and more maintenance and utility costs for us to foot. Make your money, boys.

    1. Speaking of the money, where is it??? There was a grant for planning. I suppose that has paid for where we are to date–except for the renderings. (Those will no doubt appear at a news conference announcing once again a mattress recycling factory, water taxis for Pleasure Beach and north end of downtown development projects.) Haven’t heard the state is appropriating money for the actual building. Has anyone else? Is it tied to the funding of the future East Side train station? So many possibilities!

  4. *** A new Harding High is a start towards better spirits towards education in the community! A school that can benefit the entire community, as well as the Harding students, future classes and ex-Harding alumni. *** BUILDING NEW CITY AND SCHOOL PRIDE AT THE SAME TIME! ***

  5. Bridgeport’s future hinges on education. New facilities and leadership in the BOE as well as pride will enhance future development in the city. These new schools are a must as well as teachers coming into the system as the old guard retires. I am hopeful. Young people want to move into an area where attention is being paid to our schools. New schools will also attract new talent. I think Mayor Finch has been very supportive and new school construction as well as school additions in Black Rock, Longfellow and Roosevelt as well as the Fairchild Wheeler magnet school is a real plus. I hope the students appreciate these new facilities and principals set the tone with students and parents. Bridgeport Public Schools are to be institutions for learning, not daycare when the child hits four.


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