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Construction Ramps Up at New Technical High School in Bridgeport, Conn.

Wed August 02, 2023 - Northeast Edition #19
Connecticut Technical Education and Career System

Construction is rapidly progressing on Bridgeport, Conn.'s Bullard-Havens Technical High School almost two months after ground was broken on the project. The new school is being built to serve the Bridgeport community and surrounding towns for generations to come.

Bullard-Havens is part of the Connecticut Technical Education and Career System (CTECS) and, when finished by May 2027, the new school building will serve approximately 900 students in grades nine through 12.

The 215,000-sq.-ft. school is being constructed on an existing 24-acre site and will include a field house, new athletic fields, a gymnasium and fitness center to accommodate the entire student body, among other features.

The primary focus of the school's educational program is Career and Technical Education across 13 trades: architecture, automotive technology, carpentry, criminal justice and protective services, culinary arts, electrical, graphic design, hairdressing and cosmetology, health technology, information technology, masonry, plumbing and heating, and precision machining, CTECS said in a news release.

"This school [is home] to 13 specialty [trade] shops," said Bruce Kellogg at JCJ Architecture, with offices in Hartford and Boston. "That speaks volumes to the dedication to education that the state of Connecticut and Bullard-Havens has."

School Leaders Want Showcase for Energy Efficiency

Bullard-Havens also is planned to be the most energy-efficient technical high school in the state system, and possibly the region, noted Michelle Gilman, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Administrative Services (DAS).

"The modern building systems are designed to operate without the use of any fossil fuels," she said. "Our DAS team is proud to support this initiative on behalf of CTECS and Bullard-Havens staff, and to continue our collective commitment to a sustainable future."

Kellogg added, "One of the most important things as we design buildings is [be sensitive] to net zero and reduced energy use."

Energy efficient features at the Bridgeport high school include a highly insulated building envelope, a geothermal well field with ground water source heat pumps, energy recovery ventilation and solar installation completed through the Connecticut Green Bank.

Gilbane Building Co., based in Providence, R.I., is the general contractor in charge of the Bullard-Havens Technical High School project.

When ground was broken on the project in May, the ceremony was attended by local and state officials, CTECS administrators, faculty and students along with representatives from local architecture and construction companies, and area business and industry leaders. In addition, Bullard and Havens family members were in attendance.

"We are the future generation that will bring innovation and change," said Maritza Farias Silva, a ninth-grade automotive technology student. "Thanks to Bullard-Havens, we are being turned into the skilled professionals of tomorrow."

"Education is truly the bridge to the future," noted state Sen. Herron Keyon Gaston, D-23rd District. "It is the economic engine to how we move forward. We have got so far away from the trades in our institutions and schools, and I think we need to get back to that."

His comments were echoed by CTECS Executive Director Ellen Solek when she said, "We believe that the trades are really the heartbeat of the future for the state of Connecticut and the city of Bridgeport."

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