What’s Next at the River Campus: Big Construction Projects Sprint Ahead
Four major brand new construction projects underway on the Goodwin campus are moving quickly ahead, promising the continued transformation of the riverfront and nearby neighborhood, as well as the extension of Goodwin’s educational mission to hundreds more students, from prekindergarten age all the way to College.
In the first week of the 2013, we jumped in a Goodwin College van with facilities guru Dan Larson for a jaunt around Goodwin’s various work sites, gaining a sneak preview of the big, exciting new developments in store this year.
The Connecticut River Academy
103,000 square feet
Opening: 2013-14 Academic Year
Visitors to Goodwin’s River Campus may have seen lines of giant flatbeds rumbling off the Route 2 exit, hauling hundred-ton concrete slabs. Giant cranes then lift the slabs to form the skeleton of a towering four-story parking garage.
Everything about the new Connecticut River Academy building is big and impressive, and its riverfront venue promises one of the most striking waterfront school campuses in Connecticut.
When students move to the brand new building early next year, there will be no shortage of spectacular views, both inside and outside the building. High ceilings with a series of huge, circular windows line the main area of the school, where construction has been ongoing even while much of the rest of Goodwin was on vacation.
The school is under construction on Riverside Drive at the intersection with Colt Street. Once completed, the Academy will be the second biggest building on campus behind only the main academics building.
The state-of-the-art school building will feature a full gymnasium, exercise facility, considerable cafeteria space, and a “green roof.” Students and teachers will have incredible views of the Connecticut River through large panel windows that line the Academy’s exterior — a fitting tie-in with the school’s environmental focus.
Most of the proverbial bells and whistles won’t be completed until later. Still, a walk through the building revealed dynamic and welcoming spaces for learning and gathering for the 480 students that will be enrolled at the Academy.
Goodwin students will have some access to the gymnasium and fitness facilities when the building is complete, according to planners.
The Colt Street Cottage
Opening: Spring 2013
Perhaps with a dash of Goodwin humor, the riverfront structure at the end of Colt Street has been nicknamed the “President’s Cottage.” In reality, it’s hardly a cottage, rather taking the appearance of an elegant timeshare situated on campus.
The only residential property in East Hartford with direct access to the Connecticut River, the Cottage is projected to serve as a reception space for the college and temporary lodging for college guests. The Cottage has the appearance of a three story, Victorian-style bungalow and is built along risers to ensure its elevation above the river’s floodplain. Each floor has a different purpose, as well as access to balconies that open onto the water and the Hartford skyline.
The first floor is designated as reception space for gathering, complete with a kitchenette and a fireplace. The second floor has two bedrooms for visiting dignitaries to the College, as well as an adjoining bathroom. The third floor is an apartment all its own, with a kitchen, master bedroom, living area, and other facilities.
Pathways Academy of Technology and Design
80,000 square feet
Opening: 2013-14 Academic Year
In a few months, much work has already been completed the new Pathways Academy of Technology and Design. That’s a good thing, considering the hundreds of students waiting for their new school to be up and running.
The Academy, which is renamed from the former Pathways to Technology Magnet School in Windsor, is a little different than other Goodwin magnet projects. The school will be run by the Hartford Board of Education.
After breaking ground in September, the foundation has already been laid and steel is up on site, located on Pent Road, just offsite from the main campus, at the entrance to the former Wilgoos property.
Early Childhood Magnet School
34,000 Square Feet
Opening: Summer 2013
The Goodwin College Early Childhood Magnet School is perhaps one of the most intriguing designs of any of the buildings being constructed. Drawing on the Reggio Emilio Approach, the school will feature several wings that open onto a center courtyard.
The school will be one story high, and the design is important to type of instruction and learning that will take place within the classrooms and the courtyard. The concept allows for the learning environment to play a crucial role in developing a child’s creativity and their comfort in the world that surrounds them.
The school is being built on Willowbrook Road in East Hartford, a very short distance from the River Campus on the site of Willowbrook School, a facility that houses East Hartford’s Head Start program for prekindergarten. Upon completion, the new school will be open to children ages 3 to 5 in prekindergarten and kindergarten programs. In all, 240 students will attend the school, which will draw pupils from local communities.
247 Riverside Drive
Taking the place of a derelict brick garage razed in 2012, a two story building has been built to accommodate the college’s rapid growth.
Inside, you’ll find the headquarters for Business Administration, Organizational Studies, and the College’s Communications department.
The facility provides some much-needed classroom and lab space on the first floor, with all Occupational Therapy Assisting classes to be held there. The second floor is reserved for office space. The Business Administration and Organizational Studies programs have moved into Room 201. Goodwin’s Communications and Marketing team has moved into Room 202.
The building has unofficially been nicknamed “24/7 Riverside” to highlight the tireless and dynamic work that happens within its confines.
403 Main Street
Expansion: 10,586 square feet
Total size: 28,632 square feet
Work will be ongoing at 403 Main St. throughout the semester. The College is preparing to increase the size of the building, which formerly housed the Advancement Department as well as the programs temporarily moved down the street. The building may become the future home of a Dental Hygiene Program, which is in early development.
Several programs have been moved for the Spring Session to accommodate a renovation project at 403 Main St. Histology lab courses will be held at 2 King Court, as well as offices for the Histology and Occupational Therapy Assisting Programs. All courses and offices for the Medical Assisting, Medical Billing and Coding, and Phlebotomy Programs have moved to 1137 Main St.
The Advancement and Facilities Departments have also moved within the last six months. They are now at 349 and 351 Main St., next to the Goodwin College Community Garden.