The concept of establishing an aquaculture school in Bridgeport was the result of years of collaboration among regional educators, local legislators and statewide advisory committee members. These efforts resulted in a Special Act of the Legislature which provided for the construction of this highly technological facility.
Initial Funding (1988-1989)
In 1988 and again in 1989, the Bridgeport Board of Education applied for and received two competitive grants totaling $100,000. Also, in 1989, a Special Act of the State Legislature approved $20,000 for supplies in support of the Bridgeport Aquaculture Pilot Project. The Connecticut State Board of Education approved the Bridgeport Board of Education’s request to be designated a Regional Vocational Aquaculture School. Testimony in support of the Aquaculture school, presented in a collaborative effort by the Connecticut Sea Grant Program as well as commercial and recreational marine industries, focused upon the need to develop marketable skills for students.
Building the School (1991-1993)
Plans for building the Bridgeport Regional Vocational Aquaculture School began when the Connecticut State Board of Education approved the Bridgeport Board of Education’s request to be designated as a Regional Vocational Aquaculture School on April 5, 1989. House Bill 5717, An Act Concerning a Regional High School for the Study of Aquaculture, provided the direct state funding of seven and one-half million dollars for the building of the school. A site selection report identified Captain’s Cove Seaport as a logical site for a program of this type. Thanks to the cooperation of Mr. Kaye Williams, President of Captain's Cove Seaport, Inc., sufficient space was found at the Cove and construction plans were finalized. Groundbreaking for the facility took place in December of 1991, and the first classes were held in the new facility in February of 1993.
Renovations & Expansion (2010)
We are passionate about ensuring your future through educational innovation and opportunities for personal and academic discovery. As a result of years of instructional vision, as well as diligent planning, our already-unparalleled institution opened its 30,000 square-foot addition in August, 2010. The new wing to the existing facility includes an aquaculture hatchery/grow-out laboratory equal to that of a research or commercial facility, a seafood science classroom that, by day, will provide certificate instruction in seafood handling and preparation; in the after school hours, a seafood outlet and a culinary demonstration area where students will work alongside notable, professional chefs as they prepare seafood for invited members of our community are also planned. Further additions include innovative chemistry, biotechnology and aquaculture laboratories, a resource center designed to provide students with unlimited access to information as well as serving as a support site for guest speakers presenting topics concerning environmental awareness and global concerns. Also included are new interactive teaching classrooms with advanced computerized technology for instructors, as well as students, to utilize.
Improvements to the original building include the meteorology laboratory, video conference room, career center and the aquaculture technology education instructional areas. With the combination of progressive initiatives, existing-facility improvements and plant expansion, we have the necessary tools for an enhanced, dynamic secondary school experience unequalled anywhere! While this new technology can amplify the delivery of educational material, we believe it is the professional, experienced and enthusiastic teaching staff at BRASTEC that propels our program to the next level. Our alumni have attended prominent colleges, universities, maritime academies and technical institutions throughout the country and beyond, attributing much of their success to the exemplary education received at this school. Together, you and our staff will explore the numerous, diverse career opportunities that are available in the aquatic, chemical, physical sciences and technology fields of endeavor, while developing the skills required to graduate college-ready and prepared to succeed in one’s life work.