Hartford, CT – September 9, 2009 - Great Path Academy (GPA) opened the doors of their new ‘middle college’ magnet facility last week on the 160-acre Manchester Community College campus. The Academy provides an innovative learning environment that encourages students to supplement their high school program with college coursework. For some students it is the hook that makes a college degree seem more attainable.
For the past two years, GPA operated within the College’s Lowe building, limiting the number of students able to attend. This fall the new 75,000 sq. ft. facility, designed by TSKP STUDIO, can accommodate over 300 students in grades 10, 11 and 12. The Academy building, will serve the high school program during the day and the college program at night. Sharing of the facility mitigates the need to build additional space to accommodate the College’s growing enrollment and maximizes public construction dollars for the state’s magnet school program.
Telecommunication, data and audio-visual systems are designed to college standards, considerably beyond the level of a traditional high school. Specially equipped instructional spaces include: a variety of well equipped science labs, a computer lab, a culinary lab, a language lab, and seminar classrooms. Faculty offices are located so that teachers are readily available to students. Each floor has a centrally located area off the corridor designed for casual learning and each floor opens to the central atrium which serves both the Academy and the College population with comfortable seating, wi-fi and power.
The Middle College High School initiative was born out of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the W. Kellogg Foundation with the intention of encouraging more students to continue their education beyond high school. Middle college and early college schools are located on college campuses, grant diplomas and give high school students the opportunity to take college courses at no additional cost.
A dedication ceremony for the new building will be held on September 18, 2009.