The groundbreaking ceremony for the new Hudson County Schools of Technology High School at Laurel Hill Park in Secaucus took place yesterday with students, guests and elected officials on hand.
By Sibrena Stowe Geraldino/Hudson County View
Superintendent of Schools Frank Gargiulo, also a North Bergen Commissioner, spoke to Hudson County View about how the project was funded.
“Vocational schools are funded differently. We’re funded based on the amount of free and reduced lunch population believe it or not, it’s a formula and ours came out to be 60 percent, so 60 percent of that by law is funded by the state and the rest has to be funded by the county.”
The new school will house a state-of-the-art facility with courses in architecture and engineering, sciences, performing arts, broadcasting and culinary arts.
The school will serve approximately 120 teachers and 1,200 students, almost 30 percent more than the current vocational technical school enrollment at the current 85th Street location in North Bergen – which is a 100-year-old building..
According to Gargiulo, $20 million from the sale of the old school building will go towards the payment for the new facility.
Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32), a longtime ally of Gargiulo and advocate of vocational schools, was instrumental in changing legislation and finding funding for the 350,000 square-foot campus.
“This has been long in the making. I went to college and couldn’t afford college and went into a trade so, I’ve been a big advocate of vocational technical education.”
The project was designed and built by DMR Architects, a 25-year-old firm who also designed the Meadowlands Sports Complex Station, the student center at Bergen County Community College – among many other facilities.
Company President and CEO Lloyd Rosenberg added:
“We commend the Hudson County Improvement Authority for its commitment to providing facilities designed to best prepare students for their future careers. It is an honor to be part of a project that will ultimately provide some of the best high school educational spaces not only in the state, but around the country.”
“We look forward to the chance to work with the Hudson County Improvement Authority, Hudson County Schools of Technology and a highly-skilled design and construction team to bring this project to successful completion.”
The project is expected to be completed by 2018.
Back in November 2014, the project was expected to cost $120 million and construction was set to complete by September 2019.
Other officials in attendance included North Bergen Mayor/state Senator Nick Sacco (D-32), Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, Harrison Mayor James Fife, Guttenberg Mayor Gerald Drasheff, Freeholders E. Junior Maldonado (D-4), Anthony Romano (D-5), Caridad Rodriguez (D-7), Anthony Vainieri (D-8), Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari – among many more.