Bridgeport’s mayor is touting the support he believes President Barack Obama has given the city from job creation to projects to rebuild the city.
So much so that Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch wants the city to name the new high school under construction after him.
The city just broke ground on a new high school to replace the current run-down Warren G. Harding High School. Finch wants the new school to be called Barack Obama High School.
“President Obama has done so much for our city,” said Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch. “He’s helped us create jobs on the waterfront, produce clean energy so our kids can breathe easier, and rebuild parts of our city that were neglected for too long. This new high school is another sign that cities are getting better during his presidency, and I suggest we honor him by naming this new school ‘Barack Obama High School.’”
Warren G. Harding School has been run-down for decades, according to city officials. Now the city is undertaking a $106 million project to build a new 210,000-square-foot high school to house 1,150 students. There will be football and baseball fields at the school and an eight-lane track. The state is footing most of the bill, covering about 80 percent of the cost.
The new school will turn a new leaf in Bridgeport, but it will rest on a historical site that already been the setting of significant stories.
Remington Arms Company built a plant there in 1915, producing rifles and weapons for Russia’s Army.
In 1920, General Electric bought the property to produce small motor and electrical devices. GE employed as many as 20,000 people there. The plant closed in 2007 after a long stretch of GE cutting back on operations in the latter end of the 20th Century.
From 2010 to 2012, GE demolished the plant, which included 13 connected five-story buildings.
The site underwent remediation and has been cleaned up, meeting state and federal standards.
In 2013, the city and GE have been collaborating to build a new high school there.
There have been other school construction projects going on in the city during Finch’s time as mayor, according to his office. The school construction program will establish over 3,000 jobs, according to the mayor’s office.
When the new high school is done and opens, the mayor’s office said that “more than half our kids will be attending new or renovated schools.”