Hundreds come out for East Rock School dedication

Click here to see coverage in the New Haven Register.
Mayor John DeStefano Jr., Superintendent of Schools Garth Harries and state and local dignitaries gathered with East Rock Community Magnet School Principal Peggy Pelley, teachers, parents and students for a community celebration to formally dedicate the newest school to be built in New Haven.
East Rock Community School serves approximately 550 students in a new 77,600-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 Harries and Principal Pelley, as well as state Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor, state Sen. Martin Looney (D-New Haven), state Rep. Roland Lemar (D-New Haven) and former longtime East Rock Principal Michael Conte. College banners hung from the ceiling signaling the school’s commitment to preparing all students for college.
Mayor DeStefano and former Superintendent of Schools Dr. Reginald Mayo were honored Sunday with awards recognizing them for leadership on the city's landmark two-decades-old School Construction Program.
New Haven is engaged in a nationally watched School Change Initiative and continues to focus on its mission of raising academic achievement in all schools, reducing the achievement gap; cutting the high school dropout rate in half and ensuring every student has the knowledge and tools to succeed in college, career and life.
“This city’s School Construction Program is a critical investment in New Haven, in School Change and in our children’s future. I am certain that with the dedicated efforts of students, parents, teachers, administrators and our new Superintendent we will continue to expand up on our current success and build on our hard-earned reputation as a national model for education reform,” said Mayor John DeStefano, Jr.
“This beautiful school with its state-of-the-art design and new classrooms is an incredible learning space for our children. But the real strength of the school is in its name – East Rock Community Magnet School. It takes a community to make School Change happen. I urge you to capture the energy and excitement in the air here today and use it to fuel your pursuit of big dreams, success in the classroom and personal growth,” said Superintendent of Schools Garth Harries.
“It is exciting to begin the school year back in the East Rock neighborhood in our beautiful new building,” said Principal Peggy Pelley. “Our new classrooms are filled with natural light and fully equipped with the latest technology available to educators.” 
East Rock School is the 37th school built or rehabilitated since the city launched its landmark $1.6 billion school construction program in 1995. The $49 million school has 20 technology-equipped classrooms including a modern science laboratory, library and media center, art space, special education-dedicated classrooms and a resource room for hearing-impaired students. The school also features a combination cafeteria-music-stage room for large assemblies and a gymnasium with locker rooms. The school has two playgrounds and outdoor green space.
The architecture firm that designed the school is Newman Architects. The construction manager is R2D Construction of Cromwell and Gilbane Building Company is the manager of the School Construction Program.