WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– West Haven city leaders joined together for the groundbreaking of a new state-of-the-art high school on Tuesday. The city has been under fire after asbestos was discovered in the building. Mayor Ed O’Brien said the toxic material was removed when kids weren’t in school.
O’Brien added, “This summer they removed the asbestos from the gym area, that’s the swing space and the demolition of the shop will happen over the Thanksgiving weekend.”
The Mayor said the new school won’t contain any asbestos. “Two wings of the school are going to come down to I believe the steel and the concrete. But, all of the asbestos will be removed and all of the interior walls and even the exterior walls are going to be removed,” added Mayor O’Brien.
School Superintendent Neil Cavallaro told NEWS 8 that he hopes the new high school will attract more families to move to West Haven.
Cavallaro said, “I think this is going to make people in the entire community or people interested in raising a family take a second look at West Haven.”
He said the school will have new technology. Cavallaro added, “Brand new science lab with all the equipment, state of the art media center, which I think is crucial.”
Not much has changed at West Haven High since the 80’s. The freshmen are glad they’ll be in a new school by senior year.
Nora Mullins added, “I’m excited because it is going to be cool to watch them like build a whole new setting. And I think it will be good for the athletics.”
The new school comes with a hefty price tag of over $129 million. The state is reimbursing the city 75 percent of the project and the Mayor says tax payers won’t notice a difference.
Mayor O’Brien told NEWS 8, “25 [percent] that the city has to bear the cost of, we are phasing in with the old debt is dropping off.” The construction is happening in three phases.
It will take four years to complete the project.