Governor Rell was in New Haven on Tuesday to mark the start of construction on the new Gateway Community College campus. WNPR’s Diane Orson reports.
State officials, lawmakers and education leaders gathered at future home of Gateway Community College. The $198 million construction project is the largest the state has ever undertaken. Speaking with reporters, Governor Rell addressed the delicate issue of funding. The state is struggling with a $500 million budget deficit:
"This was in the bond package before. And this is a proposal that had been made as a commitment to the community colleges. We’ve been holding things very close to the vest and not engaging in a lot of new construction of this magnitude. But we are going to keep the commitments that we’ve already made and this is definitely one of them."
The four-story building will be located in the heart of downtown New Haven at the site of the former Macy’s and Malley’s department stores. Gateway Community College President, Dorsey Kendrick:
"We’ll have nursing suites. We’ll have anatomy and physiology, biology labs, engineering, technology labs. And our classroom capacity will double. We will be offering students more than they’ve ever dreamed of including windows to look out and see."
The facility will be Connecticut’s first gold-certified LEED public building. Construction is expected to be completed in 2012.
For WNPR, I’m Diane Orson.