Jersey City officials cut the ribbon on Public School No. 16 Annex on Washington Street

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Jersey City officials cut the ribbon on Public School No. 16 Annex, located at 275 Washington St., this morning, in a rare collaborative moment between city and school leaders.

Photo credit: Jennifer Brown/City of Jersey City.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“This is a tremendous collaboration. Every day our position is to do what’s best for children. And sometimes in activities, and in translation, it may appear that it doesn’t go that way, but this morning, this here celebration enforces the epitome of us getting it right,” said Superintendent of Schools Franklin Walker.

He also thanked Mayor Steven Fulop, his team, the builder and his team, Board of Education Mussab Ali and the school board.

When he took the podium, Fulop also chalked this up as a testament to the ability to work together, despite that not always being easy.

“This is a testament of working together and solving problems. I think it’s no secret that there are struggles with regards to funding new schools in Trenton. Jersey City tried to figure this out by ourselves. To get a building built, not relying on resources from Trenton, but figuring out collectively and using our development resources to make sure we find a public good here,” he said.

“Today is a great day for Jersey City. It is the first time we’ve built a public school by ourselves, and it is a model for what is possible when we all work together. I want to say thank you to the superintendent who has been a great partner on this front.”

He also thanked the current and former former school board members, the school principal, the PTA, former Ward E Councilwoman Candice Osborne, Ward E Councilman James Solomon, “and all of our residents in Jersey City.”

Ali also commended Fulop and Walker for their efforts before giving his own take on the situation.

“This is a great example with the shared services between the schools and the city. Like the mayor mentioned, this is the first time we’ve had a new school built in quite some time. The SDA … has unfortunately had a tough time figuring out how we can address the needs of the residents here in Jersey City,” he said.

“But I think what this school also shows is a testament to the belief of our parents in our public school system. P.S. for a long time has been bursting at the seems, it’s been a school that’s had so much demand – a constant wait list – and for us to get this new building – it shows our ability to expand our enrollment for our students.”

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