Chatham Square Neighborhood

A Diverse Fair Haven Community with Historic Homes and a Beautiful Waterfront

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Strong School Project

Forum for people in the neighborhood who are most interested in developments at the Strong School building. We want ideas, and to know what is missing in the community that we want to see in that building.

Location: 69 Grand Ave, Fair Haven, New Haven, CT
Members: 39
Latest Activity: Jul 16, 2014

Discussion Forum

Potential uses and ideas for the building - BRAINSTORM format

Started by Voytec Wacowski May 15, 2010. 0 Replies

- just write and discuss ANY ideas.

Comment Wall

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Comment by Clymenza Hawkins on October 21, 2013 at 11:29am

As an artist and resident, I am in full support of the SPACE Strong School project.

Clymenza Hawkins

Comment by Claudia Herrera on April 2, 2013 at 9:36am

Lee,

I will do my best to go to the economic development group meeting, I think it will be better to listen different point of view of the project, Yes in part you did answered my question about the administration part, for a long time I have been saying the need and importance of a place like this in our neighborhood, comparing always with the neighborhood Music school at Audubon St. But with a lot more reasonable prices. Completely and strongly agreed  about to build such exacting project with the main focus of diversity. That's why I asked about the administration part. A place like this needs to be  structured with the artistic mind but organized and control from less "private investors". So, the next meeting will be April 08 again I will do my best to be there. 

We talk more after I learn more and yes I do have an idea and after I saw the nonprofits that are interested it will be easy to let it happen. 

Thanks Lee for always being informative. Claudia

Comment by Lee Cruz on April 1, 2013 at 11:58pm
Claudia,
Thank you for your interest in this project. The exact governing structure has not been determined. The goal is an economically viable center for the arts that provides entertainment and educational programs that are of interest to the community. Any ideas that increase diversity while maintaining economic viability are welcome. I look forward to hearing your ideas and to answering your questions, at least the ones for which we have an answer at this time. I am not sure how to answer your question about administration because i do not know what you mean by administer. CSNA is not a legal entity nor do we have plans to legally incorporate so at least from a legal stand point, no CSNA cannot administer the building. Call Me if you would like to talk more about this project or come to the economic development group meetings where the project is discussed and progress reported. The economic development group meets the 2nd Monday of the month, details on the main page of this website. Lee
Comment by Claudia Herrera on April 1, 2013 at 10:18pm

Lee this is a very interesting idea, I would like to learn more about this project are you guys are collecting ideas and participation from all Fair Haven (this is open for discussion )  or this going to be under the administration of CSNA?  

Comment by Lee Cruz on March 31, 2013 at 1:40pm

This is a long overdue report on the proposed use of the Strong School building to create a Community Performing Arts Center, which currently has the working name "Strong Performing Arts Center (SPACe)." Preliminary planning is taking place in coordination with Vivian Nabate, Director of Art, Culture & Tourism and Tony Bialecki of the Office of Economic Development of the City. We have determined the cost of operating SPACe and have found interested organizations willing to lease space in the building.

Presently we have 16 letters from local nonprofits and businesses expressing interest. The following have expressed interest in renting 1 or 2 rooms:

-          Long Wharf Theatre

-          New Haven Ballet

-          ARTE Inc.

-          Bregamos Theatre

-          Pequenas Ligas de New Haven

-          INTAKE

-          Elm City Dance Collective

-          Alexis Hill Montessori

-          Art Interstices

-          Jolyn Walker Dance Studio

-          River Front Development LLC

3 additional organizations expressed interest in renting the central performing space. These organizations are currently renting performing space at other locations around the city:

-          A Broken Umbrella theatre

-          Collective Conscious theatre

-          Music Haven

The Mary Wade Home for the elderly also supports this project and sees possibilities for integrating its arts activities and events into their programs.

If you know of anyone else who might be interested, please have them contact me at eliezerleecruz@gmail.com or 203.668.7074.

We also have preliminary indications as to the minimal structural improvements need  to be made in order to operate the building as a performing arts center. These are as follows:

-          Additional fire separation insulation between the hallways and the stairs

-          Handicapped access to the large performing space (current gym\cafe)

-          Handicapped access bathroom at the level at the level of the large performing space

We have volunteers helping with a business plan and design, as well as leads on funding for design and engineering. We also have a lead on initial matching funding to cover the first $40,000 of work on the building. We are working now on getting a letter of commitment from the City to work with us on this project-- specifically, a commitment to not try to sell or offer the building in any way to anyone else during a specified time, giving CSNA and the organizations working with us a chance organize, plan and fundraise for the creation of SPACe. 

Please let me know if you have any questions. you can reach me at eliezerleecruz@gmail.com or 203.668.7074.

Comment by Lee Cruz on August 25, 2011 at 2:26pm

Dear interested CSNA members:

 

A rumor is circulating that you as interested members can help dispell. Apparently the New Haven Public School administration decided, based on the current number of matriculated students, that they will most likely not need to use the Strong School in the upcoming school year. Teachers were told to come in an remove their belongs, as they will be reassigned. Because of the attempt to sell the building last year, this was interpreted to mean the building has been sold. This is not the case. This has been confirmed by the following City officials:

 

Will Clark, COO of the NHPS

Michel Piscetelli, Assistant Director of Economic Development

Erik Johnson, Director LCI

Office of the Mayor

 

Unless there is a last minute surge in enrollment, the building will not be used this year. This will be known for sure during the first week of September.

 

If the building is NOT used, those of us who live in the area will have to be especially watchful. We will also ask the School System and the City to help us. If you want to be part of the plan for what is next for this building, please comment by saying so on this page.

 

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