Press release/photos provided
GLOUCESTER CITY NJ May 4, 2015 (CNBNews.net)– Marking the start of a long-awaited project, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno today joined New Jersey Schools Development Authority (SDA) Chief Executive Officer Charles B. McKenna for the groundbreaking of the new Gloucester City Middle School, which is anticipated to open in September 2017.
“Today is not just a ceremonial act of moving dirt. It’s a celebration of our children, our communities and our future. It’s about keeping our promise to students and families here in Gloucester City that we are working to provide every child with the best possible learning opportunities and the best possible opportunities to succeed. Our children are New Jersey’s greatest natural resource. It is unacceptable that it took this long to get this project moving, especially to the mothers of the children who should have had the benefit of a new school built for the 21st century,” said Lt. Governor Guadagno. “The SDA has kick-started a new era of K-12 school construction in New Jersey, and the Gloucester City Middle School is but one example. We have much more to do, but we are moving forward.”
The new 122,000-square-foot school is designed to educate approximately 685 students in fourth through eighth grades. The school will include 27 general education classrooms, eight special education classrooms, three science classrooms, small group instruction rooms, a cafetorium, a gymnasium, music and art rooms, a computer lab and a media center. It will also include outdoor recreational spaces such as a track, fields and basketball court.
“The construction of this new school will make good use of a site to which many parties have contributed both time and resources in order to ensure that it was appropriate and ready for a school,” said Mr. McKenna. “Through the ongoing partnership between the State, District and our construction partners, I am pleased that we will succeed in delivering an exceptional school building that will help foster an excellent education for Gloucester City Students.”
The SDA is committed to efficiently advancing school construction projects through the use of sound design and construction principles. The Gloucester City Middle School will be built using a design-build approach, which differs from the traditional approach in that SDA contracts with one firm that is responsible for both design and construction. It also typically allows for some design and construction activities to proceed concurrently through phased advancement.
Joseph Rafferty, Gloucester City Public Schools’ Superintendent, commented, “It has been a long time coming for this great educational opportunity for the children of Gloucester City. It is a true academic gift that will continue to provide the children of Gloucester City a lasting chance to build a great future for generations. The concrete, steel, bricks and building materials of the new school building will anchor an educational zeal for learning that will change the world for the students of Gloucester City.”
The SDA’s current portfolio of active projects is valued at approximately $2 billion – including the Capital Project Portfolio, emergent projects and Regular Operating District grants.
Lt. Governor Guadagno was also joined by Congressman Donald Norcross (D-NJ1), Assemblymen Angel Fuentes (D-Camden and Gloucester) and Gilbert Wilson (D-Camden and Gloucester), Gloucester City Mayor William James and other local officials.