NEWS, SPORTS, COMMENTARY, POLITICS for Gloucester City and the Surrounding Areas of South Jersey and Philadelphia

Nine Candidates Vie for Three Seats on Gloucester City School Board
11 Camden County Road Projects Advance

Profile of a New Jersey school construction fiasco in Paterson |


So far, the state’s school construction agency has wasted millions of dollars, rushing to acquire properties and break ground for schools without sufficient planning. A few of the biggest examples:

GLOUCESTER CITY — Nearly $13 million was spent to buy and tear down 70 properties, amounting to a $3.5 million loss in taxable properties, to make way for a school that still doesn’t exist.

CAMDEN — The state bought 34 properties — gutting three city blocks next to a downtown area that local leaders had hoped would lead the city’s revitalization — and there’s still no new school.

PHILLIPSBURG — Hundreds of high schoolers still take classes in dozens of trailers, which the state has leased for more than a decade at a cost of more than $100,000 annually. The state built seven athletic fields and sank millions into site development for a planned school that remains a field full of weeds. As the trailers keep multiplying, the school’s auditorium is used for study hall, the library for classes and the faculty lounge as a pottery room. “Sometimes, we use the bathroom as a counseling center,” said Phillipsburg’s school nurse, Linda Frick. “It’s a quiet room. You get creative.”

NEW BRUNSWICK — Students at Redshaw Elementary School are housed in a large warehouse at an industrial complex, where they’ve been stuck since their building was knocked down in 2006. Thanks to the smell from neighboring factories, the whole school is “like a stink bomb,” according to one fifth-grader.

— Julie O’Connor