For Immediate Release Contact: Patrick T. Nolan
Communications Specialist (Mgr.), 860-713-5790, www.ct.gov/dpw or patrick.nolan@ct.gov

September 24, 2008

Governor M. Jodi Rell, State Department of Public Works, and Housatonic Community College To Dedicate Major Addition October 7, 2008 In Bridgeport

Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell, State Department of Public Works (DPW) Commissioner Raeanne V. Curtis, and Housatonic Community College (HCC) President Anita Gliniecki, will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the $55 million additions and renovations at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport on Oct. 7, 2008 (Tuesday) at 1:30 p.m.

The event will take place in the College’s courtyard at the front of the newly renovated and expanded facility – formerly the Sears Building – now named Beacon Hall. The college will follow up the ribbon cutting with an open house for the public Saturday, Oct. 11, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the new building. Free workshops, tours of the building, entertainment and light refreshments will be offered.

Regarding the renovations and expansion, Governor M. Jodi Rell stated, “This expansion project has doubled the size of Housatonic Community College, allowing the College to offer greater higher educational opportunities for the Bridgeport region. It is gratifying to know that our efforts have created a state-of-the-art learning environment that will draw increased numbers of students. This will benefit them, and in turn, our state’s economy.”

DPW Commissioner Raeanne V. Curtis stated, “This terrific complex at HCC is the result of hard work, dedication and the expertise of DPW and all those with whom we worked on this project. My thanks to HCC, the Community College System staff, the legislature, the city of Bridgeport, the design and construction team, and our DPW staff, for a job well done. Because of this project, the future is brighter today for HCC and for the entire city of Bridgeport.”

HCC President Anita Gliniecki said, “The reaction from students and staff to this new facility is phenomenal. Full-time equivalent enrollment at the College has increased over 14 percent compared to last fall. Students thoroughly enjoy having the opportunity to take classes previously not available due to the lack of classroom space. Students come to classes early because now there are multiple study areas that they can use individually or to meet with classmates for group study.”

The speakers at the dedication ceremony, in addition to Governor Rell, Commissioner Curtis and President Gliniecki, will include Dr. Louise S. Berry, chair, the Board of Trustees of the Community-Technology Colleges; Chancellor Marc S. Herzog, Connecticut Community Colleges, and Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch.

The new and renovated space consists of 174,500 square feet housing three academic departments: Humanities, Business, and Behavioral and Social Sciences. It includes 30 classrooms, ten computer classrooms, special purpose rooms for computer repair and networks, early childhood education, labs for foreign languages and English as a Second Language, and faculty offices. Also included are: a new college bookstore, a wellness center for aerobics, cardio and dance, a satellite cafeteria, and a 500-seat Event Center.

The architect for the project was Perkins Eastman of Stamford, the contractor was Newfield Construction of Hartford, and the construction administrator was Fusco Corporation of New Haven.

HCC is one of the fastest growing community colleges in the nation. Its current student body totals 5,081. This is 13.8 percent more than last year, and represents a 92 percent increase over twelve years ago. The College hosts one of the largest art collections of any two-year college in the country and includes works by Matisse, Chagall, Dali, Warhol and more.

HCC is known for its innovative industrial technology degree program. In addition, the College plays a key role in the community, conducting programs for area high school students involving intensive tutoring support in English and Math. The College also helps its students continue their education through the establishment of transfer agreements with 16 colleges and universities.

The state Department of Public Works is responsible for the design and construction of major capital building projects (except highways and bridges) for most state agencies, leasing and acquisitions statewide, and facility management, maintenance and security of state buildings in the greater Hartford area.