ESUMS students break ground on new school on UNH campus

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New state-of-the-art facility and innovative partnership with UNH will provide strong foundation for launching ESUMS students into careers of the future
City, state and school district officials joined University of New Haven leaders Tuesday for a groundbreaking ceremony to begin construction on a new state-of-the-art facility for New Haven’s Engineering & Science University Magnet School (ESUMS).
The ESUMS community – including Principal Medria Blue-Ellis, students, teachers and parents – came out for the ceremony and to see the site of their future home, directly adjacent to the UNH campus in West Haven. New Haven Mayor Toni N. Harp and New Haven Public Schools Superintendent Garth Harries joined Mayor Edward M. O’Brien, University of New Haven President Steven H. Kaplan, state Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor and other local, state and school officials to celebrate the breaking of ground on the new school.
ESUMS is a college-preparatory inter-district magnet school in the New Haven Public School system that focuses on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education. The school serves approximately 570 students in grades 6-12 from New Haven, West Haven and surrounding communities. Through a unique and innovative partnership with UNH, ESUMS students will be exposed to a world-class college campus while in high school and will be able to take advanced courses through the university and receive college credits. In addition, ESUMS students who graduate with a good academic record and get accepted to the university will receive a scholarship to UNH on a sliding scale up to 100 percent of their tuition.
“ESUMS is a school that empowers students to launch bright futures in the high-tech career fields of tomorrow. With a new state-of-the-art facility and an exciting partnership with the University of New Haven, ESUMS students will be even more prepared to achieve success in college and career and become the next generation of leaders, innovators and problem-solvers. We thank our partners and supporters for making this dream possible,” said Superintendent Harries.
“In public education, the benefits of collaboration are imperative in a competitive world: team teaching yields improved classroom results, internships and work/study programs provide real world lessons for students, and programs like this one give high school students early access to a host of post-secondary opportunities,” Mayor Harp said. “The exclamation point on this combined effort is a new, permanent home for New Haven’s Engineering and Science University Magnet School, right here on the campus of UNH, and I’m grateful to all whose efforts resulted in today’s ceremony.”
“This cutting-edge magnet school will engage students from Greater New Haven and propel them to a higher level of education or to pursue a career in a host of scientific, technological and engineering fields,” Mayor O’Brien said. “An investment in education is the most powerful tool to enrich your quality of life, and this extraordinary partnership between New Haven Public Schools and UNH is a testament to their shared commitment to reinvesting in our young people and providing them with the very best in academic resources.”
“ESUMS is a wonderful example of what can take place when local municipalities, the state and higher education collaborate to, in this case, create a school that is the first of its kind in Connecticut,” said President Kaplan. “This innovative school will enable generations of students to become tomorrow’s leaders in a wide array of scientific and technological fields, and it will directly benefit the citizens of our region, our state and our nation.”
“The ESUMS community recognizes that this day reflects our shared commitment to providing our students with a learning environment that will further stimulate and support their love of learning and STEM,” said Principal Blue-Ellis. “We are most excited about the location: being on campus will better allow students to take classes at UNH, an opportunity available to students beginning in grade 10.  It will also allow for more engagement between UNH faculty and ESUMS faculty and between all members of both schools. We are excited today because of the past challenges overcome and futures promises soon to be realized.” 

ESUMS will be the 38th school built or rehabilitated since New Haven launched its landmark $1.7 billion school construction program in 1995. The $85 million school will be 122,000 square feet and five stories high and will include state-of-the-art science, engineering and robotics laboratories. The student enrollment at ESUMS will be 65% New Haven, 20% West Haven, and 15% surrounding communities. When fully enrolled, the school will serve 616 students.
The architecture firm that designed the school is Svigals + Partners. The construction manager is Fusco Corporation and Gilbane Building Company is the manager of the School Construction Program. Demolition will happen this fall and the expected completion date is fall 2016.