Photo of Senator Duff.

Senate Majority Leader

Bob Duff

Representing Norwalk & Darien

Duff, Rilling, and State and Local Officials Announce Plan for New Norwalk High School The State of Connecticut Agrees to Fund 80% of the Costs for the New High School

NORWALK, CT - Today, at Norwalk High School, Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) announced plans for a new Norwalk High School with Mayor Harry Rilling (D-Norwalk), Director of the Connecticut Office of School Construction Grants & Review Konstantinos (Kosta) Diamantis, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steven Adamowski, State Representatives Lucy Dathan, Travis Simms, and Chris Perone, local Board of Education members, members of the Norwalk Common Council, and other local officials.

The new 337,000-square-foot facility will feature three educational programs accommodating a total of 2,000 students. 80% of the construction costs for the new school will come from the state of Connecticut through this plan.

In addition to the thousand-student population of Norwalk High School, the campus will additionally support P-TECH Norwalk, formerly referred to as the Norwalk Early College Academy, while expanding its enrollment from 400 to 500 students. The 500-student Norwalk Visual and Performing Arts Academy will also be included in the new campus.

“Today’s historic announcement is a tremendous win for the students, educators, families, and taxpayers of Norwalk,” said Senator Duff. “The new Norwalk High School is a commitment to the next generation of Norwalk Bears coupling state-of-the-art facilities with innovative programming. In addition, state funding will account for 80% of the construction costs in order to protect local taxpayers.”

“I would like to thank Kosta, Governor Lamont, and the entire administration for believing in this project and helping make today a reality,” Duff continued. “Additionally, this announcement would not be possible without the support of our local leaders like Mayor Rilling, Dr. Adamowski, and our Board of Education.”

“This is wonderful news! We are excited to capitalize on this moment and replace the 48 year old school instead of taking a Band-Aid approach to repairs,” said Mayor Harry Rilling. “We have worked hard with the Board of Ed and through our State Delegation, led by Senator Duff, to make this happen. A new Norwalk High School is great news for our students, families, staff, and community. With 80% reimbursement for Norwalk High, we will continue moving forward with other much-needed school capital improvement projects across the city.”

“We believe that the new high school will be a ‘game changer’ in Norwalk education,” said Dr. Steven Adamowski, Superintendent of Norwalk Public Schools. “I look forward to working with our teachers, administrators and Board of Education to develop education program specifications for a new high school building that will support the secondary education of generations of NHS students, at a level of excellence comparable to the finest secondary schools in Connecticut and the US. We are grateful to all the state and local officials who have worked diligently to make this opportunity available.”

"Meeting the educational needs of Norwalk’s children is facing a challenge,” said Rep. Perone. “How to best prepare our students for the future when the building they are learning in is reaching the end of its useful life. Norwalk High was built 50 years ago so this means we need to begin now to discuss what will take its place. With that thought in mind, we need to insist that the 2000 Norwalk High students enrolled in P-TECH, the Arts and Norwalk High are taught in brand new, state-of-the-art, multipurpose educational spaces. These learning spaces will be wired for the latest technology, energy efficient and equipped with the tools to give our children every chance to succeed."

“A major contributing factor to successful educational outcomes is an environment that is conducive to learning,” Rep. Simms said. “Investments in facilities that meet the needs of modern day instruction provide for the best returns. I am looking forward to the new high school’s completion for the benefit of all our Norwalk students.”

“I am delighted to celebrate the completion of this new state-of-the-art Norwalk High School project and that our students will be able to take advantage of the great educational opportunities this facility will offer,” said Rep. Dathan. “I am committed to supporting efforts that advance our goals so that families, students and school administrators get the tools and resources needed to succeed. Education is the foundation of strong communities and I am proud to stand with all the partners that made this possible.”

The P-TECH program, a partnership program with IBM and Norwalk Community College, allows students access to develop professional skills for the STEM industry, with first-in-line access to paid IBM internships and an offer for students to simultaneously earn associate’s degrees from Norwalk Community College in technical majors including web development, mobile programming or software engineering. Of its 2018 inaugural graduating class, the P-TECH program saw 68 students graduate, 12 of them earning simultaneous associate degrees in software engineering from NCC.

As part of the extensive project and expansion of the P-TECH program, the school will source these additional 100 students from outside of Norwalk, with students in other Fairfield County towns including Stamford and Bridgeport eligible to participate in a “tuition or student exchange” program. That advancement is designed to increase access to educational resources for underserved populations and break down economic and racial lines in the region.

Additionally, the school’s Arts component, supporting 500 students from Norwalk, will see the addition of a variety of new resources for visual and digital arts, theater, acting and dance among other specializations. Students will have access to new, state-of-the-art ceramics, arts and digital arts rooms and a TV film studio with additional classes taught in topics including theater design and costume design for a fully rounded and targeted process.

The school will feature 47 classrooms, including four each of biology, chemistry and physics laboratories, two computer science labs and two Makerspaces for engineering use. The campus will also feature music rooms including orchestral and choral rooms and dance studios as well as extensive resources for current and future students to utilize in a variety of different ways.

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