Former St. Ambrose School Potential Site Of Fairfield U, Diocese College For Low-Income Students

From Brian Lockhart, CT Post:

Just over a month after withdrawing a zoning application to establish a new college in the North End for low-income students, partners Fairfield University and the Bridgeport Roman Catholic Diocese are gauging public support for an alternative site.

Representatives of those two entities held a teleconference Tuesday evening with community leaders from the East End and Mill Hill neighborhoods about opening the proposed Bellarmine College at the former St. Ambrose Catholic School on Mill Hill and Boston avenues. St. Ambrose closed nearly a decade ago, though at least some of the building is occupied by the Capital Preparatory Harbor Charter School.

“It was just a preliminary conversation,” said Deborah Sims, vice-president of the East End Revitalization Zone community group, Wednesday.

“We would have a community meeting before any decision is made,” said City Councilman Ernie Newton, who represents the area. “We’re just in the talking stages. This is just an idea they’re throwing (out).”

Full story here.


One comment

  1. BELLARMINE COLLEGE-A time and place for college bound students?
    As a resident of Bridgeport, conscious that fewer dollars are spent on local youth for education than neighbors in the region, I look to the Mayor and Board of Education to show where financial attention produces proud results rather than to underserve young minds and futures. Annual accountability? Who cares? In early Spring Fairfield University offered resources and hope, as an answer.
    Eighty years ago, the Society of Jesus, known as the Jesuits, began offering education at secondary, college and graduate level of note and fame. Along the way ‘good neighbor’ programs to help Bridgeport youth were offered also.
    For more than two years the University leadership has pursued a question of how to actively practice added “social justice” to the community at large where school resources, including personnel, programs, and funding can be effective for youth with skills, abilities, hopes, and dreams, though poor financially.
    The purpose of the Bellarmine program is to offer a two-year associate degree to students from low-income and diverse under-represented backgrounds. Colleges have reported for years that many youths holding a high school diploma, are not sufficiently prepared for rigorous college course demands. They have attempted to structure ways to remedy this lack and move forward to college success.
    The Bellarmine offer includes full-tuition scholarships for students from eligible families, who live at home, and make use of free public transportation. Such a program would be delightful to a number of youths, whose scholarship applications I reviewed this spring for two committees I served this Spring. Going into personal debt for room and board, or for a car as a means of “going to college,” were not necessarily seen as a prudent financial move for many frugal family budgets.
    Locating a structure suitable for higher learning for students, neighbors, Bellarmine personnel, and the community in general should not be an impossible task, as it creates another purposeful positive for and within a neighborhood and municipal community. Are there not already public, private, parochial, and Charter schools already throughout the City? Is there not room for one more place of learning? Where is that location today? Time will tell.


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