North Bergen Junior High School project delayed again, this time until Sept. 2025


The North Bergen Junior High School project has been delayed for a second time, until September 2025, citing major ongoing construction projects.

Photo via

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The two projects, one being led by the Township of North Bergen and one by the North Bergen Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA), are expected to reduce flooding to improve quality of life and enhance the safety of the new campus and surrounding neighborhood.

“The safety and health of our students, faculty and administrators must always come first, and after much deliberation we have concluded that the most responsible choice we can make is to delay the opening of the Junior High School until these critical flood mitigation projects are completed,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. George Solter said in a statement.

“Construction of the new school continues to advance, but with major construction happening so close to the campus we feel that it would not be safe to bring students into that environment until the work is substantially completed. We look forward to sharing more updates about the school in the coming year and to the full realization of our School Realignment Plan next September.”

The North Bergen Junior High School West Campus, located at 8511 Tonnelle Ave., will house grades 7 through 9, along with Culinary Arts and Expanded Career Technical Education programs for grades 9 through 12.

This will include the return of vocational programs like carpentry, plumbing, automotive tech and other disciplines that will prepare students for in-demand careers, as well as create smaller classroom sized.

The Township of North Bergen has retained Boswell Engineering to complete a state grant funded flood mitigation and drainage improvement project on Mazzoni Place, which is a small street that runs through the campus.

The project will result in increased sewer capacity and improved stormwater management, with construction expected to be completed in late 2024 pending state approval.

Concurrently, the North Bergen MUA project is expected to begin construction in the coming months at the site of the Junior High School campus’ lower parking lot.

When completed it will allow the Township to be in compliance with the state Department of Environmental Protection mandates calling for the capture of untreated wastewater that the existing combined sanitary system can’t handle during periods of peak flow.

The project has been delayed pending approval from the New Jersey State Comptroller’s Office, which was granted this month after the proposal was originally submitted in July 2022.

A ground breaking was held in March 2022, following delays caused by lawsuits, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the death of the district’s construction manager in April.

The district also cited global supply chain issues making it difficult to procure essential building materials like steel and electrical and plumbing components in a timely fashion, which impacted the original construction timeline.

Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /home/hcvcp/public_html/wp-content/themes/Hudson County View/includes/wp_booster/td_block.php on line 353


  1. What is going on with the 4 years of delays (High Tech HS renovations and conversion to a middle school), is indicative of other local and state government problems that the Hudson County View does not write about.

    There is no evidence that either NJ DEP nor NJ DOE gave North Bergen permission to illegally place its preschool in Braddock Park in 2001, yet the preschool remains, due to faulty and/or nonexistent (required) compliance inspections and the state’s refusal to enforce regulations.

    It took NJ DEP 10 years and two problematic inspections before it issued violations for North Bergen’s non-compliance with environmental regulations.

    NJ DOE never issued violations for North Bergen’s non-compliance with NJAC 6A:26-3.13(g), which does not allow trailers to be used for school purposes for more than five years. Nor did NJ DOE notice the violation of state regulations that require school trailers to have emergency exits until I complained, five years after a fire destroyed two trailers.

    In 2021, the state gave North Bergen $10 million on top of the $65 million that North Bergen voters approved in a special referendum in 2018 to purchase the unused former High Tech High School building, renovate classrooms, realign schools and move all the North Bergen preschoolers out of their illegal location in Braddock Park and into elementary schools, thereby achieving compliance with NJ DEP and NJ DOE regulations.

    After promising to remove the preschool from the park no later than Sept. 1, 2021, North Bergen reneged. This is not new; since 2011, NJ DEP has been telling North Bergen to remove the school from Braddock Park and each time North Bergen promised to do so and then reneged.

    The High Tech realignment plan is still viable, as is a 2013 North Bergen plan to build a preschool on the several acres of land that the North Bergen Board of Education owns on 64th Street. There are other viable sites for a preschool, but North Bergen prefers building more residences and shopping centers on them, while it refuses to use eminent domain to procure land for a preschool.

    Because there are viable alternative locations for the North Bergen Preschool, environmental regulations require that the preschool be removed from the park. Some $75 million is being misspent, the voters’ mandate and trust has been disregarded and children continue to attend school in antiquated, unsafe trailers.

    This deplorable situation is made even more deplorable because North Bergen is an environmental justice community, an impoverished school district that is 88% Hispanic and there isn’t a PTA/PTO to speak up for the rights of students and parents.