Preserving New Haven’s Past Is Goal of School Renovation

New Haven, Conn.--The historic Lovell School will soon enjoy a second life as an 18-unit apartment complex, thanks to a $1.5 million loan financing deal.

Lovell School has a unique and profound historical significance in New Haven, Conn. Thanks to a $1.5 million loan financing deal announced by Webster Bank on July 6, it will soon enjoy a second life as an 18-unit apartment complex. The revitalization will help ensure the school building, vacant for a year, provides new and needed residential options in its neighborhood.

As part of the adaptive reuse endeavor, the building will be improved in a number of ways to make it more energy efficient. A geothermal heating and cooling system and energy-efficient, insulated windows will be installed. The building will also get a new elevator system, as well as a new white, insulated roof designed to deflect hot sun in the summer, but bottle up heat in winter.

Green initiatives will extend outside, where grass and a large part of the school yard’s exterior asphalt will be removed, accommodating the planting of trees and native shrubs like red chokeberry and juniper. The paved portion of the old school yard will be reduced from 50 to 10 percent, with the goal of bolstering the site’s rainwater management and preventing storm runoff.

Adherence to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines will be maintained in performing the environmentally-friendly rehab.

The restoration of the school, at 45 Nash St., just off New Haven’s State St., is being advanced by prominent State St. developers Bob and Susan Frew.

“The old Lovell school is a historically significant structure in the East Rock neighborhood that exemplifies the ambitious vision of early 20th century architects, who designed schools to be central and prominent presences in their neighborhoods,” Jeffrey Klaus, regional president of greater New Haven for Webster Bank, tells MHN. “With its towering red brick outer walls, the building commands attention, as it says to the neighborhood that the students who enter these doors will leave as upstanding citizens. Through this renovation, Bob Frew is restoring the property to its full physical luster.”

The involvement of Webster Bank is seen as key to making the project a reality. “Webster Bank knows New Haven, and we know the opportunity that exists for this community,” Klaus says. “This loan will provide necessary capital to fund a revitalization project that will have a positive impact on this property, and on the Goatville section of the East Rock neighborhood.”

For his part, Frew is grateful Lovell School has been preserved. “The revitalization of this building will breathe new life into this wonderful piece of city history, and we’re excited to see Webster share our commitment to preserving New Haven’s past, while investing in its future,” Frew says.

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