Acting Education Commissioner Vito A. Gagliardi, Sr. today announced the approval of long-range school construction plans for West New York, East Orange, Asbury Park and Passaic that call for a total of $757 million in new and improved schools.
Under the states innovative Educational Facilities Construction and Financing Act, the three school districts will receive full state funding for their comprehensive school improvement plans.
"We are taking the first, important steps toward transforming the learning environment for the children of Passaic, West New York, Asbury Park and East Orange," said Acting Governor Donald T. DiFrancesco. "The improvements planned for these school districts will enable students to move out of old, crowded schools and into modern, state-of-the art facilities. This latest round of school construction plan approvals is a further demonstration of our commitment to provide every child with a quality education in quality facilities at no additional cost to local property taxpayers."
"With the approvals announced today, we are quickly coming to the close of the first phase of a process that will eventually lead to modern, safe school facilities in some of the states neediest school districts," said Gagliardi. "To date, we have approved long-range facilities plans totaling $6.2 billion for 25 Abbott school districts and expect to issue more approvals in the days to come."
The approvals announced today include:
West New York: Estimated Cost: $120 million
Projected Enrollment in Five Years: 7,128 students
East Orange: Estimated Cost: $255 million
Projected Enrollment in Five Years: 12,993
Asbury Park: Estimated Cost: $96 million
Projected Enrollment in Five Years: 4,205
Passaic: Estimated Cost: $286 million
Projected Enrollment in Five Years: 13,482
In the seven months since the Educational Facilities and Construction Financing Act was signed into law, the Department of Education has approved school construction plans totaling more than $6.2 billion for 25 Abbott school districts including Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Trenton, Keansburg, Bridgeton, Harrison, Burlington City, Hoboken, Perth Amboy, Long Branch, Irvington, Plainfield, Vineland, Phillipsburg, Millville, Neptune, Orange, Pemberton, Garfield and Union City. In addition, the Department has approved $650 million in critical health and safety improvement for Abbott school districts.
Under the law, the state will finance all eligible school construction costs in the 30 Abbott school districts. After gaining approval of their long-range facilities plans, school districts must then submit individual plans for each school construction project to the Department of Education and the Economic Development Authority for approval.