North Bergen officials held a press conference inside the High Tech High School this morning to announce that the facility will be converted into a new high school for the township in the next few years.
State Senator (D-32)/North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco, also the school districtâ€™s director of secondary and elementary education, explained that building a new high school from scratch would cost at least $150 million at the taxpayers’ expense since the school district does not have Abbott status.
However, since High Tech High School has broken ground on a new location in Secaucus, North Bergen received a lucky twist of fate.
“The high school was overcrowded: our current high school was built for 1,800 people, it’s been retrofitted for 2100, it holds 2100 now. But we’ve had enrollments as high as 2,700 and right now it’s about 2,500,” explained Sacco, noting that split schedules have been the only possible solution to the problem.
Calling high tech’s new Secaucus facility “the greatest break in the world,” Sacco said that officials opted not to make 2000 85th Street part of a shopping mall since it would be better suited as the new North Bergen High School.
Sacco also said he would be retiring from the schools by the end of the scholastic year, which he could do proudly now that the overcrowding at the high school was being resolved.
Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, a retired Jersey City school teacher, said new facilities for North Bergen and High Tech students is a win across the board for local education.
Hudson County Schools of Technology Superintendent Frank Gargiulo, also a North Bergen commissioner, had mixed emotions about leaving the 85th Street facility.
“I couldn’t be happier that North Bergen’s taking the facility, because I feel like I’m not really leaving. So on behalf of myself and my staff down here, we’re happy to be going to a new facility, we’re not so happy about leaving this one: it was a great place for us to be,” Gargiulo said.
North Bergen Superintendent of Schools Dr. George Solter, a former vice principal at the high school, said this new facility will â€œallow us to be solid with our educational program.â€
Solter also revealed that the High Tech facility will be the new home for 10th, 11th and 12th graders, while the current high school, located at 7317 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, will be fore 7th, 8th and 9th grade students.
Currently, 7th and 8th graders in North Bergen are being taught in their local elementary schools.
During a short question and answer session with the media, Solter said that he is unsure how much the project will cost, given that the transition will not be ready until the 2019-2020 school year.
He added that part of the plan is to eventually find a new home for the pre-school facilities, located within James J. Braddock Park.
As a nearly lifelong resident of Hudson County,including having lived in North Bergen, I am very grateful that Mayor Sacco and the North Bergen Board of Education are re-tooling their efforts to find a solution for an equitable location for their fine Pre-K Education Program that does not involve any part of James J. Braddock Park, which is owned by Hudson County, and is equally the right of all County residents to enjoy as a place for open space and recreation.
Patrick I thank you for the positive d
Feedback. This is a win win for everyone n people are still complaining. During election Larry made this a major issue now the kids will have a better facility there still not happy. There complaining about possible raise in tax can u imagine if we needed to bond low end 150 million high end 220. These people are never satisfied n by the way the Pre K is still. Great facility.
Preschoolers should be moved out of the overaged unsafe trailers in Braddock Park and into real schools.
Braddock Park should be restored to the public for open space and recreation asap.
Tell Green Acres:
Mayor Nick Sacco:
SIGN THE PETITION:
The announced move of North Bergenâ€™s H.S. to the Hudson County Hi-Tech H.S. was not the brainstorm of Hudson County or North Bergen officials.
It was suggested to NJ DEP Green Acres by angry North Bergen residents who want to reduce overcrowding in NB schools and who also want the North Bergen Pre-K school out of Braddock Park where it has been illegally, in violation of NJ and Federal regulations for 15 years.
On 04-12-16, Green Acres wrote this to North Bergen:
Hudson County High Tech High School properties, Block 458.01, Lot 1 and Block 458 Lot 1 â€“ Please provide information on the scheduled relocation of the Hudson County High Tech High School to Secaucus and analyze the alternative of relocation of the Pre-K school to a portion of the current properties associated with the Hudson County High Tech High School in N. Bergen (or alternatively, relocating other school children there and moving the Pre-K school into newly available space at one or more of the existing school facilities).
Source â€“ page 5 of: http://www.nj.gov/dep/greenacres/pdf/NBergen_DEP_Completeness_Review.pdf
Instead of taking credit for this great idea, North Bergen and Hudson County should take the extra step and announce that the Pre-K school will be moved out of its overaged and dangerous trailers into real elementary school classrooms that will become freed up as a result of the Hi-Tech acquisition.