LETTER: East Newark mayor provides update on rec center, relationship with BOE

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In a letter to the editor, East Newark Mayor Dina Grilo provides an update on their rec center renovation, as well as elaborating on Borough Hall’s relationship with the board of education.

Dear Editor,

In response to a recent article published in The Jersey Journal, I would like to provide the residents with information regarding the upcoming renovation of the East Newark Recreation Center.

A common vocal point from our residents was the need to reopen the East Newark Recreation Center and provide programs and activities for both children and adults.

Proudly, we were able to secure a grant, with the full support and assistance of the County Executive and County Freeholders to renovate the recreation center.

This long overdue renovation will be at no cost to our residents and we anticipate welcoming you all in by early 2021.

Our administrative team has worked diligently in assisting the Superintendent and school officials on a relocation plan for the half day Pre-K class which is currently housed in the recreation center due to overcrowding in the school.

We worked with appropriate property and business owners as well as neighboring municipalities who were able to provide multiple options for the school officials to consider.

My appreciation to each of them for their cooperation and willingness to offer their locations and/or extend their services to the Board of Education.

A few considerations were: the former St. Anthony’s and Holy Cross school sites, full day class at nearby child learning centers, former school trailers, none which were followed up by school officials. We continue to look for locations with a possibility of relocating the Pre-K to a full day class at the newly built Kennedy School in Harrison.

A concern heard from many parents was the need for a full day Pre-K classroom, currently they only offer half day as space is also limited in the recreation center.

Since taking office in January, I have been fully supportive of the Superintendent and school officials as evident in the passing of the bond ordinance to fund the renovation of the school’s restrooms and exterior building façade.

In addition, they also received an increase to their budget for the 2020-2021 school year. The school is welcome to continue the use of Veterans’ Park for sports activities.

Upon completion of the recreation center renovation, the students will again be able to utilize the gym portion for practice, dances, fundraisers and much more only now it will be in a newly updated facility.

During the pandemic we collaborated with the school to provide graduates with a video message from the Mayor and Superintendent, as well as graduation banners and gift bags.

Having graduated from East Newark Public School and having attended many events in the recreation center, I take pride in being from the borough and assure you that our children’s best interest is a top priority for my administration.

Together we will build a better and stronger community.

We are always open to suggestions and recommendations and can be reached at 973-481-2902 or at info@boroughofeastnewark.com.

Sincerely,
Mayor Dina M. Grilo

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