BRIDGEPORT - Gov. M. Jodi Rell joined other state officials Tuesday to celebrate the renovation and a multimillion dollar addition to Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport.

Renovations to the Sears building, now called Beacon Hall, have been a crucial element in Bridgeport revitalization plans for decades. The site contains a brand new facility, featuring more than 174,000 square feet, new classrooms, computer labs, a bookstore and two cafeterias.

Rell noted the recent economic downturn is tightening purse strings, but says the project's completion is a solid investment.

"Over the next couple of weeks and months, there's not going to be any, and I say that, any easy decisions in spending, and of course the decision to move ahead with this building started long before the economy went downhill," she says. "Shall I say, and as someone said to me when I came in, thank God for that."

The governor did, however, mention the second phase of expansion plans for the college is not in the immediate future.