Original Date: 
Thu, 2009-06-18

Contact:          Michelle Wade, Director of Communications W (203) 946-8450  C (203) 675-5132
NEW HAVEN – The date for completion and occupancy of the New Worthington Hooker School, under construction at 691Whitney Avenue, which will serve students in grades 3-8, has been rescheduled to late fall 2009. 
Demolition work began in January 2008, and site clearing for construction started June 25, 2008. With a planned opening date of September 1, 2009, the project was on a very tight schedule from the beginning.  Both severe winter conditions and significant rainfall throughout the spring, especially the past few weeks, have significantly slowed progress.  While many of the structural and system “rough-in” construction activities have been completed, the completion date of the project has been impacted most recently due to  windows not being  installed and this leading to the building is not being completely closed in for proper sheetrock work.  “Erecting sheetrock and applying the necessary finishes before the building is enclosed would adversely impact the quality of the building and its long-term functionality,” School Construction Director Tom Rogér, of Gilbane Building Company, said. 
He pointed out that, although Mayor DeStefano and Dr. Mayo were very anxious to have the building ready to open for the beginning of the next school year, they agreed they did not want to compromise the building’s integrity or the learning environment for students by moving them in before the building was properly completed. While major work is well along and is beginning to take final shape, this delay is necessary to ensure quality, safety and functionality.
Hooker School students will remain in their current location, St. Stanislaus School at 804 State Street, for several months after the start of school.  The Engineering and Science University Magnet School (ESUMS), slated to move into St. Stan’s this summer, will temporarily move into the old Prince School at 22 Gold Street until St. Stan’s is vacated.
“We are disappointed that the building will not be ready for the start of the next school year, but we believe this is the best decision in the interest of our students,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Reginald Mayo.  “We appreciate everyone’s patience, cooperation and understanding”.