New Haven Dedicates Future Dr. Reginald Mayo Early Childhood School

New Haven city and school district leaders gathered Wednesday to dedicate a school in honor of Dr. Reginald Mayo, who retired in June after serving children and families in the district for 46 years, 21 as superintendent of schools.
Dr. Mayo and his family joined Superintendent of Schools Garth Harries, Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. and Mayor-Elect Toni Harp for a brief ceremony at the site of the future Dr. Reginald Mayo Early Childhood Center. The Board of Education voted to rename Helene Grant School after Dr. Mayo upon the recommendation of the superintendent by the School Naming Committee, which included representatives from the Board of Education, Board of Aldermen, teachers, parents and the community.
“I am thrilled and humbled by this incredible honor. Early childhood education has always been a passion of mine and this school in particular has always had a special place in my heart. I am so grateful to the Board of Education, city and school district leaders, teachers, parents and the community for supporting me all these years and for bestowing this huge honor upon me,” said Dr. Reginald Mayo.
The existing building is slated to be demolished in early 2014 and rebuilt as the Dr. Reginald Mayo Early Childhood School and is designed to serve 565 students in pre-kindergarten. Completion is expected in December 2015.
“Dr. Mayo has a profound love for kids and he let that love be a guiding principle for his leadership these past two decades. His lifelong commitment to helping all kids rise is the legacy he leaves. I can think of no more fitting tribute to Dr. Mayo than naming a school that will nurture, support and grow young children in his honor,” said Superintendent Harries.
“Dr. Mayo's accomplishments --and his dedication--are enormous. However, there is no acknowledgement more fitting to bestow upon him than the naming of an early childhood school learning center in his honor. Early childhood education was one of the most important and dearest concerns to him and it is so fitting to honor him in this way. I am pleased to take part in this most-deserved honor for Dr. Mayo, who has served the children on New Haven for decades,” said Mayor DeStefano.
“Today’s dedication ceremony honors one man by renaming one New Haven school after Dr. Mayo and his distinguished legacy after more than 40 years of work on behalf of public education in our city. The truth is Dr. Mayo’s influence will be readily apparent in every school building throughout the district for the foreseeable future while students grow and learn as the direct beneficiaries of his leadership,” said Senator and Mayor-Elect Toni N. Harp.
The Dr. Reginald Mayo Early Childhood School will be the 38th school built or rehabilitated since the city launched its landmark $1.6 billion School Construction Program in 1995. The new school will be specially designed to serve the needs of 3- and 4-year-old students. The 65,000-square-foot building will include early childhood-specific classrooms, a large parent resource room and a playground. The historic bell tower on the existing Helene-Grant building will be salvaged and the bell tower along with its four bells will be installed on the new building.
The architect for the new school is Ken Boroson and Giordano Construction will manage the project. Gilbane Building Company is the manager of the School Construction Program.
The Helene Grant name will remain part of the New Haven school system, in the Wexler-Grant School.