In a joint effort between the Jersey City Board of Education, the city, and the municipal utilities authority, lead remediation will be performed at 15 different public schools in the next month.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The Board’s Legislative Committee, which consists of Trustee Gina Verdibello, Mussab Ali, and Gerald Lyons (the committee chair), helped form a partnership with the city and the MUA to head up remediation efforts across all 40 school districts.
At an October 29th meeting at Public School No. 15 attended by city, school and MUA
officials, a review of the water remediation plan was discussed and a list of schools ready for remediation was prepared.
The group will meet on December 1st to review the progress, plan for reassurance testing,
and then prepare the final list for remediation.
The 15 schools set to be remediated in the next months are:
1) Public School No. 15
2) Liberty High School
3) Public School No. 11
4) Old Public School No. 20 (160 Danforth Ave.)
5) New Public School No. 20 (239 Ocean Ave.)
6) Public School No. 23 (143 Romaine Ave.)
7) Public School No. 23 West (128 Duncan Ave.)
8) Public School No. 24
9) Public School No. 26
10) Public School No. 29A
11) Public School No. 30
12) Old Public School No. 3 (Renaissance Institute)
13) Cavern Point Athletics
14) McNair Academy High School
15) Jersey City BOE Central Office (346 Claremont Ave).
The remediation process itself includes multiple strategies covering the lateral pipes leading to the school building, the internal pipes, and faucets filters, as part of the extensive testing.
The district identified Public School No. 15 and McNair High School to carry out a pilot remediation program, which has been successfully completed and are currently undergoing final assurance testing, officials said.
“We are actively engaged with the MUA and Mayor’s Fulop’s office and will publish a remediation schedule and cost/funding plan for the remaining 25 locations during the December board meeting,” Board President Sudhan Thomas said in a statement.
“The parent community and particularly community organizing groups such as Jersey City Together have long advocated for clean and safe drinking water in our schools. The Board takes great pride in being able to resolve a long pending problem area in the Jersey City Schools and we would like to thank Mayor Fulop and the MUA for their active partnership.”
Acting Superintendent of Schools Dr. Franklin Walker added that this is the latest step in “the continuing transformative work carried out by this board” in conjunction with the district.
Through parent leader Brigid D’Souza, Jersey City Together, an organization of more than 35 religious congregations and non-profits that has spoken about this issue previously, applauded the initiative.
“It’s great to see these concrete steps taken by district officials including BOE President Thomas and Superintendent Walker. This – including the $3 million added to this year’s budget – follows through on commitments made to Jersey City Together, parents groups, and student leaders last year,” she said.
” … We still have much further to go, but we look forward to seeing working water fountains in all these schools in the coming weeks and months.”
Editor’s Note: This story was updated with a comment from Brigid D’Souza from Jersey City Together.