© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Despite flood risk, Bridgeport breaks ground on new high school in city's South End

 State and city leaders broke ground on Bridgeport’s new Bassick High School Monday. The school has drawn some criticism because it will be built in a FEMA designated high risk flood zone.
Lesley Cosme Torres
Connecticut Public
State and city leaders break ground on Bridgeport’s new $129 million Bassick High School being built in a FEMA designated high risk flood zone on the University of Bridgeport campus.

State and city leaders broke ground on Bridgeport’s new Bassick High School Monday. The plan for the new school has drawn criticism because it will be built in a zone designated as "high risk" for flooding, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Neighborhood groups and environmentalists expressed concern about the flood risk. But Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim said the architectural design of the new school includes an elevated first floor, which would be raised above street level. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), says the school's first floor will be two feet above the 500-year base flood event.

“Bridgeport got the largest unmatched federal grant we ever received. $50 million for resiliency which will address this entire South End area, including this site. The improvements on raising the site is a smart move and a necessary move,” Ganim said.

The new $129 million school will be located in the South End, on the University of Bridgeport campus, overlooking Seaside Park.

It will house the Bridgeport Military Academy (BMA), 48 classrooms, a new trade program, and Bassick’s first sports facility. Ganim said the school is expected to open at the beginning of the 2025-2026 school year.

The start of this construction project is important for Bassick students, according to Bobbi Brown, vice chair of the Bridgeport Board of Education.

“This particular project has opened the eyes of a lot of students at Bassick and BMA," Brown said. "Students have to feel that their building is really theirs. Every school has its own identity and it's really amazing to see our students have a place that reflects them."

“I’m excited to see our students have a home,” Brown said.

This story has been updated.

Lesley Cosme Torres is an Education Reporter at Connecticut Public. She reports on education inequities across the state and also focuses on Connecticut's Hispanic and Latino residents, with a particular focus on the Puerto Rican community. Her coverage spans from LGBTQ+ discrimination in K-12 schools, book ban attempts across CT, student mental health concerns, and more. She reports out of Fairfield county and Hartford.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content