CT provides $50 million more to fully fund Norwalk High project

Photo of Emily Morgan

NORWALK — Two years after it was announced, the state legislature has approved an additional $50 million to fully fund the Norwalk High School project.

Pending Gov. Ned Lamont’s signature, the state budget brings the total funding to $239 million for the new high school construction. The project was originally approved for $189 million in September 2020. The revised funding maintained the 80 percent reimbursement rate for the project.

“Based on rising costs and working with the city, ($50 million) seemed like a good number in order to get the project done,” said state Sen. Bob Duff, D-Norwalk. “I’ve been excited about this project. I really appreciate Gov. Lamont and his support, Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney, Sen. Doug McCrory, and that of my colleagues and their support. They realize this is a critical project for our city and our kids.”

The estimated construction cost for the new high school is $225 million. With the additional funds, the city can move forward with the construction of the pool as part of the overall project. The state previously also approved a 50 percent reimbursement rate for the construction of a natatorium.

“Working with the city is great. We’re all moving in same direction,” Duff said. “We want to have the project done and have the best high school in entire state of Connecticut. It’s going to be state of art high school. It was always designed to be that way and that’s what we’re going to get.”

In a joint statement, Mayor Harry Rilling and Superintendent of Schools Alexandra Estrella applauded Duff for his “remarkable efforts” to secure the additional funding as well as his and Lamont’s “tireless efforts and continued commitment” to the city.

“Sen. Duff continues to deliver and be a real champion for all Norwalk residents, especially our youth,” the statement said. “Not only does securing these funds save our residents money, but it invests in the future of our community by making sure our students have access to a 21st century world-class education.”

Moving forward with the recommendation to build the new school on the existing football field, the project is now in the schematic design phase. That process is expected to be finished by early July, according to Dan Phillips, the project manager with Construction Solutions Group.

Phillips told the Land Use and Building Management committee last week that his team also had meetings set up with multiple groups working in the high school to discuss science and general classrooms, special education spaces, administration, career and counseling, media, visual and performing arts, and music.

There are also ongoing meetings with Athletic Director Doug Marchetti and Norwalk Recreation and Parks to discuss the new athletic facilities to replace the existing fields and courts being displaced.

Jim Giuliano, president of Construction Solutions Group, and Alan Lo, Norwalk Building and Facilities Manager, plan to present more details on the building’s design, including its interior features, to the Land Use and Building Management committee at their next meeting on June 1.