COOPERATIVE ARTS AND HUMANITIES HIGH SCHOOL PREPARES TO OPEN THE DOORS OF ITS BRAND NEW, STATE-OF-THE-ART HIGH SCHOOL DOWNTOWN
(1/13/2009) NEW HAVEN- When the doors to the brand new Cooperative Arts and Humanities Magnet High School open Downtown on Tuesday morning, 446 students will walk into a 140,000 square foot state-of-the-art laboratory for learning. After more than 5-1/2 years of site selection, design and construction, the newest addition to the City’s Downtown will provide professional-grade space for students to develop their talents in dance, music, video-production, visual arts and much more.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Reginald Mayo, Principal Dr. Dolores Garcia-Blocker, parents, friends and community partners will join the celebration as students enter their classrooms for the first time on Tuesday, January 20, 2009 at 7:30 a.m. at Co-Op, 177 College Street. This grand opening will take place on a monumental day. As students take their place in their new school, President-Elect Barack Obama will be preparing for his inauguration in Washington, D.C. Students at Co-Op will watch the inauguration in their classrooms on their first day.
“We have waited a long time for this new school, which will enhance the Co-Op students’ academic and arts experiences,” Dr. Mayo said. “And all the arts institutions and non-profits are excited about partnering with us and using the top-notch facility. We have great expectations for Co-Op and appreciate the tremendous support we have received from the community.”
Co-Op was one of two New Haven and 16 Connecticut high schools to receive a “silver” designation as one of the nation’s top high schools in last month’s U.S. News & World Report annual analysis. “This is an exciting time in the history of our country and our school,” Dr. Garcia-Blocker, school principal, said. “It is truly a new beginning! Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School is now the flagship school of the district. As such, much is expected of us. We will collectively work toward excellence in every aspect of our program.”
Co-Op is an interdistrict magnet high school with 60.5% of its students from New Haven and 39.5% of its students from 21 area towns. Enrollment will increase from 446 to 650 in the next few years. Co-Op is one of only two full-time creative and performing arts high schools in Connecticut.
The new school contains a 350-seat multi-purpose theater, a black-box theater, a scene shop, an 85-seat lecture/film viewing hall, two dance studios, 2D and 3D arts studios, creative writing labs, a video production studio, choral and instrumental rehearsal spaces, a photography lab, seminar rooms, a cafeteria, a library and a gymnasium, all on the lower level or first and second floors. The top two floors include other academic classrooms.
With the opening of Co-Op this month, following the opening of Troup and Columbus Schools in September, 28 new and renovated schools have been completed since 1998 under the $1.5 billion Citywide School Construction Program. Five more schools are in construction and several more are in planning and design.
The new Co-Op, which moves from Orange and Bradley Streets over the Martin Luther King weekend, is a $70 million, 140,000 square foot school designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli; it is the only high school ever designed by Cesar Pelli. Construction on the 1.5 acre site began in the spring of 2006. The construction manager is Giordano Construction.
Co-Op’s partnerships with local colleges and universities allow students to pursue independent studies in courses ranging from music theory to language classes in Swahili or Japanese. Existing arts program partnerships include: Yale University Urban Education Masters Program; Neighborhood Music School; Yale Art Gallery; Creative Arts Workshop; Yale School of Music; Yale Repertory Theatre/School of Drama; Shubert Theatre; Long Wharf Theatre; Beineke Library; Peabody Museum; New Haven Ballet; Gateway Community College; Yale Center for British Art; and Center for Creative Youth.
The official dedication ceremony for Co-Op will take place on Saturday, March 28th at 11 a.m. and will feature student performances in various art forms, tours and guest speakers.
Throughout the 2007-2008 school year, New Haven broke its record, graduating more than 1,000 students in June, achieving soaring CMT and CAPT scores and increasing the number of students who take Advanced Placement exams for college credit.
The 2007-2008 school year saw upwards of 85 percent of graduates go on to two and four year colleges and more than 532 New Haven Public School students took 829 AP Exams. New Haven’s high schools made big gains on the 2008 CAPT test, with every high school showing growth. Across all high schools, 11 areas saw double-digit gains. In some high schools, the percentage of students proficient or better in writing now matches or exceeds the state average. Students throughout the school system will participate in a new round of testing in March where the results are expected to reflect another year of academic improvement in New Haven Public Schools.
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