Marking a milestone in the implementation of key reforms in the state's school construction program, New Jersey's Acting Governor Kim Guadagno today joined New Jersey Schools Development Authority (SDA) Chief Executive Officer Charles B. McKenna for the groundbreaking of the new School 16 Elementary School in Paterson.
The new 109,500-square-foot School 16 is designed to educate approximately 700 students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grades. The school is anticipated to open in September 2016.
“Today’s groundbreaking marks a new day for development in Paterson and helps us keep our promise to New Jersey’s students,” said Acting Governor Guadagno. “Through projects like School 16, we are working to provide the best learning experience to give our kids every opportunity to succeed. Congratulations to the SDA and the Paterson community on this new state-of-the-art facility.”
The SDA is committed to an objective prioritization of statewide educational needs and the advancement of sound design and construction principles to bring increased accountability and eliminate wasteful spending. For example, School 16 will be built using a Design-Build approach, which differs from the traditional approach by allowing for some design and construction activities to proceed concurrently through phased advancement.
“School 16 is the latest school to be built in Paterson by the SDA and, along with the Marshall Street School, which is also under construction, illustrates the State’s investment in the children of Paterson,” said Mr. McKenna. “Combined, these two new projects will provide approximately 1,350 new seats for Paterson’s elementary school population. As we celebrate this great day, it is clear that the State is committed to providing Paterson students with the educational spaces needed to realize their academic potential.”
The school will include 22 general-use classrooms, four pre-kindergarten classrooms, three kindergarten classrooms, specialized instruction classrooms and labs, a media center, a gymnasium and a cafetorium.
Paterson Public Schools’ Superintendent, Dr. Donnie Evans, commented, “This newest elementary school is especially exciting for our district as it will be the first in Paterson to be LEED GOLD Certified – which means it will have highly sustainable “green” systems including solar panels. From its state-of-the-art security features to its ‘cafetorium’ with an instrumental music room on stage, the new School 16 will provide an exceptional learning environment for our pre-k through grade 8 children.”
The SDA’s current portfolio of active projects is valued at approximately $2 billion – including the Capital Project Portfolio (more than $1.5 billion), emergent projects ($100 million) and Regular Operating District grants ($450 million state share).
The Acting Governor was also joined by Senator Nellie Pou, Paterson Mayor Jose Torres and other local officials