After more than a decade of waiting the state says it is moving forward with the construction of the Marshall Street school.
The school’s construction is set to begin in the “next few weeks,” according to the New Jersey Schools Development Authority’s announcement issued on Wednesday.
Ernest Bock & Sons, Inc., a Philadelphia firm, which was issued the building contract in July has been ordered to proceed with construction in the coming weeks.
In September the SDA had said the school was stuck in “constructability review,” that review was completed few weeks ago, allowing for construction to move forward.
The 108,700 square feet school is designed to hold 650 students from kindergarten through eighth grade with 23 general classrooms. Inside the building will be, “four kindergarten classrooms, specialized instruction classrooms and labs, a media center, a gymnasium, a cafetorium, and a community room.”
A special feature connected to this school is a pedestrian bridge over the nearby railroad. “The project also includes a pedestrian bridge over the NJ Transit railroad right of way to provide access for those areas of the city to be served by the school,” according to the SDA.
Education advocates, teachers, and residents have been clamoring for some time over the construction of the school to be located near Hazel Street due to overcrowding in district schools.
In September school teachers and advocacy groups marked the 10th anniversary of the broken promise in front of a weed infested building site, where a foundation was laid only to be abandoned (pictured).
State officials recognize the city’s overcrowding problem and see the construction of the Marshall Street school as a way of reducing burdens on other schools in the district – new schools will allow overcrowded schools to shed students to the new buildings, reducing overcrowding.
“There is a real need for new facilities in Paterson to help alleviate overcrowding,” said Charles McKenna, head of the authority. “A new PS #16 Elementary School and Marshall Street Elementary School are critical in achieving our goal of meeting the district’s facilities needs.”
Anticipated completion date for the school is fall 2016-2017.