Housatonic Community College begins major expansion

Drawing of the new main entrance to Housatonic Community College on Lafayette Blvd.

Construction has started for the expansion and renovation to Lafayette Hall at Housatonic Community College.

The Bridgeport community college moved from its location in the former Singer Metric Building at 510 Barnum Ave. to Lafayette Hall at 900 Lafayette Blvd. in 1997. At that time, the college had approximately 2,700 students enrolled and immediately experienced a significant enrollment increase. Current enrollment is 5,369 students.

To accommodate HCC’s steady growth, the college opened its second building, Beacon Hall, at the southern perimeter of the campus in the former Sears building in 2008. The additional 174,500 sq. ft. added classrooms, offices, a large multi-use Events Center, Wellness Center, Students Activities Center, and enlarged bookstore.

Continuing its pattern of growth, the current 46,000-square-foot addition will create a new Welcome Center, enabling students to move more easily through the enrollment and registration process. Renovated spaces will also enlarge the college library, academic support center, new science labs, and additional offices for student services.

HCC President Paul Broadie said, “The new space will allow us to expand academic programs and provide new ones to meet today’s employment requirements. We are projecting adding programs specifically in STEAM (Science, Engineering, Arts, Math) courses

The $37.5 million project is expected to create over 600 construction-related jobs.

The college will continue all normal procedures and activities throughout the construction process.  The renovated building will extend Lafayette Hall to the street on Lafayette Blvd. During the work, the front entrance to Lafayette Hall will be closed as will the drop off and pick-up space at the front plaza. Interior offices, including admissions and business activities have been moved into other spaces in the building. The Burt Chernow Galleries will be open and exhibits are scheduled.

Construction is expected to be completed in 2017 in time for the college’s 50thanniversary.