Fairchild Wheeler Inter-District Magnet Campus, Bridgeport, Conn.

Photo Courtesy of Robert Benson Photography

Encompassing 340,000 sq ft, including a garage, the largest and most expensive high school complex ever built in Connecticut is also environmentally friendly.

Located in an abandoned park, the project consisted of three high schools on one campus. Built as a single, continuous core structure with three wings, the building has an open and light-filled interior with various types of shading.

The $91-million project's green features include a 106-kilowatt solar array and 10 roof-mounted wind turbines that together are capable of generating 120kw of power. The team installed an underground rainwater harvesting tank that provides the school with more than 2 million gallons of greywater annually. Such features allow the school to save a total of $150,000 a year on utility costs. The building is LEED-Gold certified under the U.S. Green Building Council.

The 23-month project required extensive programming, stakeholder engagement and a complex land acquisition process that called for local and state legislative action before it could be completed. The team worked with various government officials to assemble the zoning and wetland approvals and building permits.

To meet the schedule, the team chose an early site package that allowed it to jump into the project while preparing bid packages for the remaining portion of the job. The contractor, designer and consultants held multiple joint onsite meetings with the subcontractors.

The request-for-information and submittal processes were focused on issues and materials that were critical to where the project was in the construction schedule. The construction manager says that the use of three-dimensional modeling to coordinate onsite work proved "extremely" beneficial.

Key Players

Owner City of Bridgeport

Program Manager O&G Industries Inc.

Construction Manager Fusco Corp.

Lead Designer JCJ Architecture

Structural/Site/Civil/MEP Engineer Diversified Technology Consultants Inc.

Landscape Architect Fuss & O’Neill Inc.

LEED Steven Winter Associates Inc.

Security Consultant Ducibella Venter & Santore

Technology R.G. Vanderweil Engineers LLP

Food Service Crabtree McGrath Associates Inc.