New Home for Hartford Magnet School

After spending years in an old supermarket warehouse, a Hartford magnet school has a new home.

Students and faculty at Pathways Academy of Technology and design held a ribbon cutting this morning to mark the move to the new school building.

But this Hartford public school is miles away from the capital city. It sits on Goodwin College's campus in East Hartford on an old Pratt & Whitney airplane engine testing field. Now the new $38 million building is home to almost 400 students.

Principal David Goldblum gave a tour of the 81,000-square-foot magnet school, showing off resources from a music recording studio to a virtualy reality simulator to a television studio. At four stories tall, the building is visible from Route 2.

"Magnet schools were developed to reduce racial, ethnic and economic isolation," said Glenn Peterson during the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Peterson is the director of Sheff programs for the state's Department of Education.

"And if you look around at the student body today, you see that kids are here from Hartford and from the suburbs," Peterson added.

The students come from 34 cities and towns in the greater Hartford area. Nearly half of the students are eligible for free lunch. And boys make up more than half the school's population.

And now all these students have new technology at their fingertips. Inside the art and graphic design studio, students used Adobe Photoshop and InDesign to create children’s books.

Last winter, some of these same students designed album cover art for a holiday album recorded in-house. They plan to continue to implement these new resources to further collaborative project efforts between multiple classes.

Peering outside one classroom you see Goodwin College, and in the distance the Hartford Skyline.

"You get to finally look out the windows," said junior Amanda Rodriguez. "I’m able to take a break when I’m working on a big project."

Rodriguez remembers how only two classrooms in the old building had windows.

Another new benefit of the school's location is being right on a college campus.

"Being able to have that free class period where I’m going to be able to go to Goodwin College and take those classes is going to be phenomenal," said Rodriguez.

It's a new school that proves there are no boundaries for education.

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