NJDOE News

Contact: Janet Thompson
Rich Vespucci
For Release: February 21, 2001

Union City, Pemberton & Garfield Construction Plans Approved

Education Commissioner David Hespe today announced the approval of three additional school construction plans, for Union City, Pemberton and Garfield, paving the way for a $366 million state investment in improving educational facilities in the three communities. With these latest approvals, the Department has given the green light to 20 of the 30 Abbott school districts to proceed with far-reaching school construction plans that are designed to provide every child with a safe, modern, state-of-the-art learning environment." said Commissioner Hespe. "To date, facility plans valued at more than $5 billion have been approved to construct new schools and renovate existing ones in our urban centers." The school construction program is laying the foundation for a brighter future for New Jersey's children," said Acting Governor Donald T. DiFrancesco. "We are committed to moving full speed ahead with projects that will make a dramatic improvement in the quality of education school children receive throughout our state, especially in our urban areas." The latest long-range facilities plans approved by the Commissioner are:

Union City: Estimated $263 million. Projected enrollment in five years: 11,178 students

  • Construction of three new elementary schools on existing sites;
  • Renovations to four elementary schools;
  • Demolition of a middle school;
  • Construction of a new magnet school to replace a leased facility;
  • Conversion of two high schools into middle schools;
  • Construction of two new middle schools; and
  • Construction of three new high schools.

Pemberton: Estimated Cost: $81 million Projected enrollment in five years: 5,676 students

  • Construction of a new pre-kindergarten facility;
  • Conversion of an elementary school into a pre-kindergarten and kindergarten facility;
  • Additions or renovations to seven elementary schools;
  • Additions or renovations to the middle school;
  • Additions or renovations to the high school.

Garfield: Estimated Cost: $82 million Projected enrollment in five years: 4,637 students

  • Purchase of a pre-kindergarten facility that is currently leased;
  • Additions and renovations to five elementary schools;
  • Conversion of the middle school into an elementary school;
  • Construction of a new middle school;
  • Additions and renovations to the high school.

In the seven months since the Educational Facilities and Construction Financing Act was signed into law, the Department of Education has approved critically needed school construction plans in 20 Abbott school districts including Newark, Paterson, Trenton, Keansburg, Bridgeton, Harrison, Burlington City, Hoboken, Perth Amboy, Long Branch, Irvington, Plainfield, Vineland, Phillipsburg, Millville, Neptune and Orange.

Under the law, the state will finance all eligible construction costs in the 30 Abbott school projects. 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.