Editor’s note: This story was published on April 1, known to many as April Fools Day…
NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk Community College CEO Cheryl C. DeVonish announced Thursday that NCC will be taking over operation of The SoNo Collection mall and converting most of the internal spaces to classrooms, performance spaces, science labs, art studios and administrative offices.
“In this our sixtieth year operating as a community college for Norwalk, we are pretty excited about this new opportunity. The details are still being worked out, but April is National Community College Month, and we didn’t want to miss the chance to make this important announcement,” said DeVonish in a statement. “It’s really an extraordinary facility – have you seen how much parking they have? It’s amazing!”
A Brookfield spokesperson stated, “The retail mall business is just too hard now. Everyone buys stuff online from Amazon and occasionally other vendors and then goes to Costco for other stuff. We have to throw in the towel on this one. Besides, we never really considered the Norwalk location to be a Brookfield property – it was acquired when it bought General Growth Properties in 2018 and Norwalk already was too far along. We’re just happy that we can partner with Norwalk Community College to complete this transition.”
NCC Dean of Students, Dr. Kellie Byrd Danso said, “We have very big plans for our new East East Campus facility. It’s a pretty long list, but I can share a few things. For a long time NCC has considered developing a program for Retail Science and Technology. Now we can – and what better place than a former retail mall?”
She continued, “We also have had discussions with members of the local real estate community to develop a program focused on Real Estate Science. These discussions will continue, and we hope soon to offer an inaugural class taught by visiting professor Jason Milligan. And, after the Pinstripes lease runs out, we intend to convert that space, including the bowling alley, into a student recreation center. There are many, many more exceptional opportunities we look forward to announcing as the month of April unfolds.”
The property transfer, which is subject to the approval of Norwalk’s Redevelopment Agency, is expected to close on or before April 1, 2023.
Yes, Virginia, there is still an April Fool’s Day.
This article, as NancyOnNorwalk’s most astute regular readers quickly recognized, was the latest installment in our annual April Fool’s parody of civic events in our fair city. We apologize to any readers led astray by our annual prank, as well as to Norwalk Community College leader Kellie Byrd Danso and others whose comments and actions we invented for this entirely fictional parody.