Dozens of Hudson County officials came together to name the new Hudson County Schools of Technology campus in Secaucus after former Superintendent of Schools Frank Gargiulo.
“What a great day for the next generation of Hudson County residents that are gonna be able to reach for the stars and realize as a result of the education they’re gonna receive at the Frank J. Gargiulo High Tech High,” said U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ).
“He has earned this building, to have his name on it … Mr. Gargiulo, Frank, assemblyman, commissioner, coach: you earned all those titles Mr. Gargiulo and I welcome you and congratulate you today,” added Board of Chosen Freeholders Chair Anthony Vainieri (D-8).
The Frank J. Gargiulo Campus sits on 22 acres of property within Laurel Hill Park, a county owned property.
The new building is 350,000 square feet with dedicated wings for vocational academies including culinary arts, design and fabrication, performing arts, tech/visual arts and science tech.
Future plans for the campus include a partnership with Hudson County Community College and other countywide offerings.
“Sometimes, the answer no from God is better than the answer yes and this is one of the cases,” said state Senator (D-32)/North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco, referring to Gargiulo’s unsuccessful run for freeholder in 1984 as a blessing in disguise.
Gargiulo, who still serves as the North Bergen Department of Public Works commissioner, ended up becoming a close friend and political ally of Sacco before being named HCST superintendent.
“Having the privilege to work with the students and staff at the Hudson County Schools of Technology was one of the most rewarding parts of my long career in education,” Gargiulo said in a statement.
“These students are among the brightest in the country and deserve a quality space to study and prepare themselves academically for the future. I am humbled by the decision to dedicate this campus in my name.”
Construction of the Frank J. Gargiulo campus began in late 2016 with the New Jersey Department of Education funding more than half of the $160 million project.
The facility is environmentally friendly and has a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold rating.
The new campus also features three levels of classrooms, an underground parking garage, a 400-seat theater, a gymnasium, and the district’s administrative offices.
“Today is a remarkable day for the students and residents of Hudson County,” noted Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise.
“The opening of this beautiful new campus would not have been possible without Superintendent Gargiulo’s commitment to providing the best resources to our students. It is fitting that we thank him for his service to the Hudson County Schools of Technology community by naming this campus in his honor.”
HCST administrator Joey Muniz served as the emcee for the ceremony.