As the warm weather settles in and students start buzzing with excitement for their upcoming Summer break, Rizzo Construction is hard at work on the $50 million expansion of the largest and most diverse high school in Connecticut, Danbury High School. The project broke ground in 2016 with completion currently slated for late 2018. Rizzo is currently bidding the fifth phase of this project.
The expansion and renovation is right on time as both DHS and Danbury are readying for continued population growth, with the high school’s population alone expected to grow to 3,300 students by 2020.
Portions of the expansion already completed includes an upgraded fuel tank, sprinkler and fire alarm system, as well an upgraded generator.
Roof replacement is currently underway and is expected to be completed during the Summer of 2017.
The largest part of the expansion is currently underway – a brand new 70,000 square foot building that will house the Freshman Academy – a key component in the high school’s dramatic turn around from the 2008 -2009 school year when the school’s freshman class suffered from class failures and suspensions. Separating the incoming freshman from the upperclassmen and giving them specialized attention as they transition into the high school environment was critical in turning DHS into the school it has become today.
“The research shows that the first year in high school is the determining year where students face the most challenges,” said Sal Pascarella, superintendent of the Danbury School District. “Attendance rates drop, truancy increases and disciplinary cases increase unless you can create connections.”
Upcoming upgrades include a cosmetic renovation and HVAC upgrades of the auto shop, an expansion of the cafeteria, and new lighting and overlays in the existing parking lots.
A new performing arts building will break ground in June 2017. This addition will include a state-of-the-art black box theater as well as band and choral rooms.
Learn more about Danbury High School below.