See school opening by 2019

See school opening by 2019
Posted on 02/09/2016
Photo by Ron Leir This municipal lot fronting on Harrison Ave. will give way to a new primary school.

The Harrison public school district is a step closer to seeing a new primary school built – at no additional cost to the local taxpayers.

The N.J. Schools Development Authority, an independent authority allocated nearly $3 billion by the legislature to fully fund and manage new construction and update school facilities in about 40 districts, has approved the “preliminary charter” for the district’s planned school, according to SDA spokeswoman Edye Maier.

“That includes approval of conceptual plans for a new school building of 65,500 square feet,” Maier said last Friday.

The new school is to rise, just across the street from Washington Middle School, on the south side of Harrison Ave. Much of the development site is now taken up by a municipal parking lot which will be displaced by the project, officials said.

Last Thursday night, the town’s Board of Education approved a resolution ratifying the SDA’s action which was disclosed to the public by the board’s personnel director James Doran.

Doran said the conceptual plans call for construction of a three-story structure that can accommodate a total of 392 children.

It would house two classrooms dedicated to pre-k youngsters, nine classrooms for kindergarteners and nine classrooms for first-graders, he said. Those numbers were independently confirmed by the SDA spokeswoman.

Doran said the building, to be equipped with an elevator and air-conditioning, would also contain a cafeteria with a capacity for 200 students. And, according to the SDA’s Maier, there will also be room for a “multi-purpose” space and “support” programs.

Doran said there would also be plenty of outdoor play space, including a separate playground dedicated for the use of preschoolers.

The main entrance to the building, which will be from Washington St., will be secured, Doran said, with a glass window and intercom system “and there will be cameras all over.” To provide sufficient space for the school building, play areas, along with staff and visitor parking, Doran said the SDA is acquiring additional private property along S. Fifth St.