It has been an eyesore in East Haven for decades, but new life is finally coming to former East Haven High School.
The building will become an apartment building. NBC Connecticut got an exclusive look inside at the work already underway.
“It’s been an albatross around our neck for a very long period of time,” explained East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo.
But since the 90s East Haven mayor Joseph Maturo will tell you the business behind what to do with the historic former East Haven High School has been nothing but.
“It was probably sold two or three times but got bogged down in politics,” he explained of plans to redevelop the building, which has been sitting since the 90s. “Probably lost one of my elections because of the school.”
And now, after five years in the making, Boston-based WinnDevelopment will convert the historic school building into its next chapter.
Local and state leaders along with WinnDevelopment announcing today the start of the $21.5 million project to transform the building into 70 mixed-income apartments for seniors.
WinnDevelopment President Larry Curtis says the project is an example of how public and private partnerships in Connecticut drive development but state and local leaders today say the process in the state must be streamlined in order to see similar projects get off the ground.
“It shouldn’t take five years to get these kinds of things done. Anything that we can do to speed the things up to keep business here in attract more business those are the things that we need to be looking at,” Curtis said.
School staples like the lockers and former classroom doors will be preserved, and soon this former high school will turn a new page for good.
The apartments will be housed in the front half to the building. The back half will include an upgrade to the school’s pool, auditorium and basketball court which will be open to the community, along with creating town council chamber The apartments are expected to be completed in a little more than a year.