Mayor's Monday Message|
Last week I joined Governor Dannel Malloy, Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Catherine Smith, members of our state delegation and our Board of Aldermen in welcoming Alexion Pharmaceuticals back to the Elm City as the first tenant of 100 College Street.
100 College Street is the first development of the Downtown Crossing project, a transformational effort to reclaim and reinvigorate nearly 11 acres of developable land now underutilized by the Route 34 connector. The 100 College Street building will house up to 426,000 square-feet of mixed-use biotech and life science office and lab space, as well as vibrant ground-level retail space. The 100 College Street development is expected to generate up to 2,000 construction jobs, 600 to 960 permanent jobs, and millions of dollars in spin-off economic development activity at suppliers, restaurants and other supporting businesses in the City.
I cannot imagine a more highly regarded and accomplished company to serve as the first anchor tenant of this once in a generation development opportunity. Aided by $51 million in assistance from the state DECD's First Five program, Alexion will relocate its global headquarters at 100 College Street in New Haven by 2015. In doing so, Alexion will bring more than 350 employees to New Haven and add as many as 300 new jobs by 2017. Alexion's receipt of competitive First Five funding is supported as well by the Governor's Bioscience Connecticut initiative which seeks to expand and improve the state's research and development capacity.
Alexion began in 1992 as a small startup based in Science Park. It soon outgrew that location and relocated to Cheshire in 2000. In returning to its New Haven roots, Alexion is joining a strong and growing cadre of New Haven-based cutting-edge bioscience and medical research companies. Since the 2008 recession, no city in Connecticut and few in the Northeast have matched our population and job growth. New Haven has led the state in grand list growth each of the last three years. Commercial and residential occupancy rates here are at an all time high. This strong, sustained growth is a testament to New Haven's successful economic development strategies, particularly the City's emerging role as a global center for the bioscience and medical research fields.
Teacher-Led Turnaround Announced for High School in the Community
The New Haven Public Schools announced last week a groundbreaking partnership with the New Haven Federation of Teachers to manage the district's latest turnaround effort at High School in the Community. At the same time, the Board of Education announced that the district has formally registered its intent to apply for the State Department of Education's Commissioner's Network, providing potential financial support for the turnaround as well as structural support under the Governor's Education Reform Bill.
As part of the school turnaround, the student experience at High School in the Community will become more personalized and meaningful, aligned to the most significant trends in education around the country. Among those changes:
• A new law and social justice theme that will cut across the curriculum and animate both class work and independent student work. The school will pursue local partners, including law schools, law firms, and social justice organizations to enrich the curriculum.
• A new grading policy will shift at the school, starting in the 9th grade, to emphasize mastery of the necessary skills and knowledge to advance to the next level - all in alignment with the National Common Core of Standards. Students will spend their initial years in a Core Academy within the school, building core academic skills necessary for high school and college success. When they have demonstrated mastery - typically after two years, but sometimes after one, three, or more years, students will advance to the Community Bridge Academy, where independent and community-driven work will build the skills necessary for success in college.
• The school will also reinstitute the "Family Group," a mandatory freshman class focused on social development and team building, a program that was part of HSC in earlier years.
• To support family engagement, the school has set a goal of 100% parent contact through the course of the year, and teachers will be expected to offer classes to parents through the course of the year.
As with other turnarounds in New Haven, all staff at HSC must reapply for their jobs. Teachers from inside and outside the district have also applied. Work-rules will be adjusted, including an additional hour of teacher time that will be allocated between extended student time and team planning and development.
Welcome Vivian Nabeta, Director of Arts, Culture and Tourism
Vivian Nabeta started last week as the new Director of Arts, Culture and Tourism within the Economic Development Administration. She succeeds Barbara Lamb, who retired last fall. Nabeta, a long time Connecticut resident, has over 10 years of experience in arts administration, marketing, audience development and event management. She previously served as the Membership and Special Events Manager for the Amistad Center for Art & Culture. During her tenure, she planned numerous special events and programs, redesigned the organization's website and implemented various social media and online technology strategies.
"Vivian will be a great leader of the arts in the city and will help the department to advance its successful Project Storefronts, the Winchester Avenue Revitalization Art Project (WRAP) as well as the many downtown and neighborhood-based events. We are also looking forward to the new initiatives Vivian will launch over the coming years," stated Kelly Murphy, Economic Development Administrator.
In addition to her professional experience, Nabeta has a Bachelor of Arts in Theater Studies from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Arts in American Studies from Trinity College.
"The city has phenomenal arts and culture scene and I am looking forward to living and working here," stated Nabeta. She began her tenure on June 18, 2012.
Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge Opens
The new Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge opened last Friday after two decades of planning, negotiation, and construction that spanned nine ConnDOT commissioners and four governors.
The Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge is not just a bridge. It is part of a transportation network that is key to the economic development and prosperity of Southern Connecticut. And, this was not just a bridge project. As part of this project, New Haven also received the Church Street South Bridge over the Metro North rail yards, key to enabling the redevelopment of Route 34 into Downtown Crossing. The bridge project also funded the construction of the State Street Rail Station that has supported Shoreline East rail service for 600,000 riders. Additionally, the project is funding the construction of a new boathouse at Long Wharf, to begin later this year.
This project was about more than traffic relief-- it was about economic growth and jobs. New Haven is particularly indebted to Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro and the 14 cities and towns that make up the South Central Connecticut Regional Council of Governments whose unanimous support it took to advance this great project.
I look forward to continued economic development partnerships as we look at address the needs at Union Station and Tweed-New Haven Airport. I am confident that his team that has done such a great job on this bridge can finally get to work on improving Union Station and Tweed as well.