CT River Academy opens new building

By Corey AmEnde - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Thu., Jan. 2, 2014
The new building is 105,000 square feet and cost $57 million. Photos contributed by Goodwin College. - Contributed Photo

After spending three and a half years in temporary classrooms, students at the Connecticut River Academy finally have a permanent place they can call home. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 7, to open the $57 million, 105,000-square-foot building located at 9 Riverside Drive in East Hartford. The new building will house the 400 students, teachers and staff of Goodwin College’s magnet high school.

The students and staff moved into their new building upon returning from winter break. The school was previously located in incubator space right down the road from the new building, since the CT River Academy opened its doors in 2010.

“I was here when we first opened, and at that time we really were excited about building a new school community and the building was secondary,” said Linda Dadona, principal of the Academy.  “I think over the last three and a half years what we’ve realized is not having our own space has allowed us to focus more on building the community itself – the people and the relationships.  Instead of the building defining us, we defined ourselves, and now we as a community will come into this building and be able to define the building’s use,” she said.

The new, four-story building features state-of-the-art labs and equipment, a “green roof” where students can grow plants, a habitat room with live animals and a project center.  There is also a full-size gymnasium with a basketball court, a fitness center and a parking garage. 
Dadona said the new building will enable the staff and students, “to really explore the environmental science theme of the school.”   The school will have a floating dock with a research vessel to provide students with access to the Connecticut River.

The Academy graduated its first class last June.

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