Construction crews go sky-high to show off the building of Waterbury’s new state-of-the-art school

New Haven

WATERURY, Conn. (WTNH) — It drew applause from city leaders.

The moment crews from Newfield Construction hoisted the final beam in the building of what will become Waterbury’s newest K-eighth grade school — the new Wendell Cross Elementary School.

City leaders, like the mayor and the superintendent, believe it will not only look nice, it’ll also dazzle in terms of what it will offer kids: state-of-the-art classrooms, creative art, music and technology spaces.

“This will be a great addition to Waterbury Public Schools and deliver on a commitment to the students and families for a beautiful structure with opportunities in a state-of-the-art learning environment,” said Dr. Verna Ruffin, Superintendent of Waterbury Public Schools.

Dr. Ruffin told News 8 the physical offerings of the new building aren’t the only pluses for the nearly 700 students that will call the new facility home each year.

“They will be able to go to school here until they are going to be freshmen in high school. And so there’s going to be some consistency. For teachers and the staff, opportunities to collaborate because there will be three classes per grade level, opportunities for community events that are tied in with families they will get to know for a long time.”

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When the construction crews hoisted the final beam way up in the air with an American flag attached and waving in the wind, it wasn’t exactly the moon landing in the summer of 1969, but it was a thrilling moment for the mayor, who thanked the workers and several city leaders and Governor Ned Lamont’s office, which made funding possible.

The project cost about $42 million. The city got $36 million from the state.

“I get goosebumps when I’m at one of these new school construction projects because I think about the thousands of children who will be impacted so positively,” said Mayor Neil O’Leary.

News 8 was told the new school is under budget and on time. If all goes to plan, it’ll open in time for the 2021-2022 school year.

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