August 22, 2016

Larson Tours East Hartford Schools Undergoing Major State Funded Renovations

photo of Senator Larson

Senator Tim Larson and Superintendent Nathan Quesnel discuss the $1.5 million athletic field and complex renovation at East Hartford High School, which is nearing completion. Also pictured: Facilities Director Al Costa and Board of Education Chairman Bryan Hall.

East Hartford, CT—Ahead of the start of the school year, state Senator Tim Larson (D-East Hartford) joined Superintendent of Schools Nathan Quesnel and members of the board of education for a tour of three major renovation projects that have been taking place over the summer in the East Hartford School District.

The Hockanum Early Childhood Learning Center, East Hartford Middle School “Window Wall” project and East Hartford High School athletic field renovation are being completed through a combination of more than $9 million in state funding, secured by Sen. Larson and the East Hartford delegation.

“We have been working diligently alongside school officials, securing state funding to invest in our facilities, classrooms and athletic programs—from upgrading energy efficiency in our buildings, to expanding early childhood education, to improving our athletic fields for the district’s sports programs, which really bring the community together,” said Sen. Larson. “I take a lot of pride in making sure that education is funded throughout the state, particularly here in East Hartford. Investing in our school systems and the education of our youngest residents is the best way to build a strong community, and I am very proud of the major improvements we are making.”

“This was a great chance for us to showcase some of the incredible work and investments that so many stakeholders have made to support East Hartford kids. We are appreciative to Senator Larson and our entire EH delegation for their hard work to obtain the funding that has made these improvements possible,” said Superintendent Quesnel. “When we visit the EHMS Window Wall Project, the EHHS Field and Stadium Renovation and the work being done at our soon to open Early Childhood Learning Center, we appreciate Senator Larson’s commitment and pride in our community. Senator Larson continues to work hard to support the needs of our students and we are excited for what lies ahead.”

“As the chairman of the East Hartford Board of Education, I’m excited to see our years of planning for these amazing projects come to fruition. The Board of Education appreciates the support of our state delegation which advocates for state funding to assist in our vision,” said school board Chairman Bryan Hall. “The students in East Hartford are the pride of this great community and the Board of Education has great leadership from our superintendent, his cabinet and staff. The mayor, town council, elected officials and this community are all supporters in the success of East Hartford Public Schools.”

Over the summer months, the former Hockanum Elementary School has been undergoing a major renovation project supported by a $1.7 million state grant and will reopen this fall as the Early Childhood Learning Center. The center will provide a prekindergarten program for more than 300 East Hartford 3 and 4 year-olds, and include a school-based healthcare center and other supportive services.

At East Hartford Middle School, contractors are working on the first phase of a nearly $8 million project to remove the exterior glass “window wall” of the original 1954 building and replace it with a new, energy efficient system that retains the aesthetic character of the original award winning design. The project is funded by state reimbursements of more than 76 percent, and is expected to produce significant savings to energy costs over future years. The second phase of the project is slated to be completed by fall of 2017.

East Hartford High School’s athletic field and complex renovation is also nearing completion. Supported by a $1.5 million state grant secured by Sen. Larson, the new turf field will be striped for both football and soccer, and will accommodate other track and field sports.

East Hartford Public Schools Facilities Director Al Costa noted that the renovated sports complex will meet state tournament standards, and will be a significant improvement over the former facility.

“I think this will be a showplace for East Hartford,” he said. “This field will be a place that any athlete in the state will be envious to play on.”