Students, administrators and elected officials gathered at the Common Ground High School in New Haven Tuesday to break ground on a new, state-of-the-art facility. Joel Tolman, the charter school's director of development and community engagement, said the new building will house science, art, performance, and athletic spaces. It will also model sustainability with a solar array, geothermal system, and other materials aimed at reducing climate change.
Common Ground is the nation’s oldest environmental charter high school, serving 180 students. The new building will allow Common Ground to expand to 225 students and grow its community outreach programs to serve 12,000 children and adults each year. The project needs $10.2 million to be completed, and so far has raised $9.6 million from the state of Connecticut, the city of New Haven, and private donors. School officials hope eventually to transform Common Ground into one of the most energy-efficient school buildings in the country.
Diane Orson contributed to this report.
See also: "Thinking Green and Small Classes Help Students Achieve," by Nancy Cohen, May 29, 2008.