The Community Charter School of Paterson is expanding into a new building on Ellison Street, where the charter intends hold classes for 5th, 6th, and 7th graders this September, according to school’s parent organization the New Jersey Community Development Corporation (NJCDC).
“We’re adding a 100 new students this year,” said Bob Guarasci, president of the corporation. “Because we’re adding 100 new students, it was time to expand and to get a new building.”
The new building will serve as an extension to the school’s Spruce Street location. Guarasci said the charter will hold upper grades in the newly renovated 137 Ellison Street campus. “We’re adding grade seven and next year we’re adding grade eight,” said the president.
The 26,000 square-feet building has plenty of space for students, and will allow the school to quickly expand next year to welcome the eighth graders. “It’s a four story building. It’s been renovated from top to bottom including the addition of the new kitchen and cafeteria,” said Guarasci.
Classrooms in the building have been equipped with smart boards and wireless internet access to educate the 300 or so middle schoolers, according to the corporation. The middle school will also place emphasis on the sciences with new science labs in the building.
The school will become a hub for students even after school day comes to a close with a plethora of extracurricular activities: robotics, chess, dance, entrepreneurship, creative writing, among others. The charter will also implement before and after school programs, Saturday programs, and a summer program.
The school received its charter from the state’s department of education in 2007 and began offering classes to students in kindergarten through third grades in 2008 out of its Spruce Street location.
“We’ve been adding a grade level every year for the last few years,” said Bob Gruasic, president of the corporation. As the school added a new grade level every year it eventually had to find additional classroom space.
Students will be able to roam around the schools’ hallways beginning September 2nd; however, before the school officially opens the corporation is holding a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. today to show families the building’s interior.
“Our parents and kids are very excited about having a brand new facility to learn in,” said Gruasic. “There’s a lot of excitement as we, for the first time have our own middle school facility.”