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Larkins, Schools Development Authority, Grilled on Long-Overdue Construction

The entrance to the Schools Development Authority is tucked between a regal bank and a Christian Science Reading Room on Trenton’s West State Street, a tight space that belies the money and stakes at play behind its glass doors.

But yesterday the attention was turned to what the agency hasn’t completed. Legislators -- both Democrats and Republicans -- voiced their frustration over mounting complaints about the SDA’s continued hold on 52 projects planned and promised in some of the state’s neediest cities for much of the past decade.

Four schools in Jersey City, five in Newark where the average age is 85 years old, a new high school in Phillipsburg, where now half the students take classes in 31 temporary trailers.

'A Bipartisan Screw-up'

“This is a bipartisan screw-up,” said Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan (D-Middlesex), chairman of the Assembly Education Committee. “Not just Democrats or Republicans. It is just bizarre.”

‘We need to get these schools built, people to work,” he said. “It’s just mind-boggling. It’s been four or five years.”

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