The Town of Guttenberg, in a joint effort with the board of education, is hoping to finish a $20 million construction project at the Ana L. Klein Elementary School by September 2017. Sponsored content.
Guttenberg Mayor Gerald Drasheff, who met Hudson County View at the construction site yesterday, gave some history on the project – which has been in development for many years.
“There was a tremendous need here to expand the space that we can use for the school. The school owns certain property here and the town acquired certain other property, so we eventually owned the entire corner between us and the school,” Drasheff explained.
“There was thought given to each party developing their own site to meet their needs: it made no sense. We’re not the kind of town that can afford that, something that’s used for a school from eight in the morning until four and then we have a whole separate building.”
Drasheff said instead, the town entered into an agreement with the board of education where the town is financing the school annex, which will serve as a gym during school hours and as a community center in the late afternoon and evening hours.
The mayor added that the new gym will finally have bleachers for friends and family to sit down, something the current facility does not have, as well as a stage for performances.
Additionally, the second and third floor will serve as much needed extra classroom space during the day and double as community space at night.
The added community room has already been completed recently and also includes handicapped access for students.
Upon completion of the project, Drasheff estimates that the building will be in use by Guttenberg residents from 8:00 a.m. until 10 p.m.
Finally, the mayor explained that the current plans have the construction being completed in time for the 2017 school year.
“We ran into some delay because of the amount of rock you run into as soon as you touch the top of the Palisades, but our timeline right now is for this building and the extension to be open by September of 2017 and we are really working close with the contractor to meet that date and that’s what we’re hoping for.”
Another amenity that will add to the unique look of the annex is a rooftop park funded via a $600,000 grand from the county’s Open Space Trust Fund.
Drasheff first spoke to us about the project back in September 2015.