Hundreds come out for Hill Central School dedication!

October 21, 2012
Abbe Smith
NHPS Director of Communications
203-497-7015203-676-0463 (cell)
Dedication ceremony celebrates new facility, new commitment to ensuring all students on the path to college when they leave Hill Central and enter high school
Mayor John DeStefano Jr., Superintendent of Schools Dr. Reginald Mayo and state and local dignitaries gathered with Hill Central School Principal Glen Worthy, teachers, parents and students for a community celebration to formally dedicate the newest school to be built in New Haven.
Located in the heart of the city’s Hill neighborhood, Hill Central School serves approximately 500 students in a new 85,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility. The dedication was a spirited community event with musical performances by students and food for all. Speakers included Mayor DeStefano, Superintendent Mayo and Principal Worthy, as well as state Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor and Hill Alderwoman Andrea-Jackson-Brooks. Students processed into the gymnasium to the sounds of the school marching band and waving college pennants. College banners hung from the ceiling signaling the school’s commitment to preparing all students for college.
Hill Central is the 36th school built or rehabilitated since the city launched its landmark $1.6 billion school construction program in 1995. The $43.2 million school is connected to a clean energy-generating fuel cell and has 21 technology-equipped classrooms including a modern science laboratory, library and media centers, a separate gymnasium and cafeteria connected by a stage and two playgrounds.
New Haven is entering the third year of its nationally watched School Change Initiative and continues its mission of raising test scores to the state average, reducing the achievement gap; cutting the high school dropout rate in half and ensuring every student academically prepared for and financially able to go to college.
“This is the 36th school to be completed as part of the Citywide School Construction Program,” said Mayor DeStefano. “The truth is, schools cost money and our taxes are higher because of it. Still, there are no roads or bridges more important that seeing that our kids have the best facilities in which to learn. This is a critical investment in New Haven School Change and in our future. It is a powerful investment that will continue to pay dividends for our youth and our community for years to come."
“The new Hill Central School is a beautiful building and a fitting place for students to set their sights high and work hard in school,” said Superintendent Mayo. “It always fills me with joy to see teachers, families and neighbors come together to celebrate the opening of a new school, because educating our children is what community is all about.”
“It is my hope that the Hill Central School community will see this tremendous new building as a sign of great things to come for our students,” said Principal Worthy. “The students of Hill Central work so hard every day. They deserve nothing less than the best – a beautiful new school and the promise of a college education.”
The architectural focal point of the new building is the “Main Street” promenade, a three-story grand corridor with skylights and ornamental trusses on the ceiling, curved metal balcony facades and light fixtures reminiscent of street lamps.
“Green” features of the building include irrigation storage tanks that use rainwater collected from roof drains to water the lawn, a highly energy efficient chilled beam cooling and heating system, radiant flooring in the preschool and kindergarten classrooms to warm the floors and a fuel cell energy-generating system shared with neighboring Clemente Leadership Academy.
The architect who designed the school is Ken Boroson of New Haven. The construction manager is Giordano Construction and Gilbane Building Company is the manager of the School Construction Program.
“Our firm is incredibly excited about the dedication of the new Hill Central School.  Its design and construction was the greatest collaborative team effort we have been involved in to date,” said Boronson.
Two years ago, New Haven became the first district in the state in install an energy fuel cell at an elementary/middle school when it did so at Clemente. Hill Central will share that fuel cell with Clemente, also benefiting from cost-saving clean-energy generating Central Utility Plant (CUP) located between the two schools. The 400-kilowatt fuel cell was developed in Connecticut by UTC Power and will meet most of both building's electric needs. New Haven received a $500,000 grant from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund at the time to support the fuel cell installation.
The cafeteria includes an expansive “community garden”-themed mural created by artist Duvian Montoya, as part of the city’s Percent for Art program, which requires that one-percent of the city's construction costs for new or renovated municipal buildings be allocated towards the purchase of commissioned artwork.
Hill Central is one of five schools in the district that benefits from a federal School Improvement Grant and is one of three schools that have Family Resource Centers that provide critical wraparound services to support children and their families. The district was recently awarded state funds to open two additional Family Resource Centers, a move that will allow New Haven to dramatically expand efforts to empower and engage students, parents and community members. Hill Central also has School-Based Health Center that includes an examination room and medical beds separated by privacy curtains.