On September 8, 2,100 students in grade 9 through 12 were welcomed into the new, three-story, 326,000-square-foot Phillipsburg High School. Today the facility had its official dedication.
The $127 million high school was built under New Jersey’s school construction program established by the NJ Supreme Court in the landmark Abbott v, Burke case. Following a 1998 Abbott ruling, the NJ Legislature adopted the construction program that has provided capital funding for facilities projects in both high need urban districts and, through matching grants, to all other districts.
In the 17 years in which the historic program has been in effect, over $10 billion has been provided to school districts across the state for overdue and needed new construction, renovation and capital maintenance projects.
A key advocate for building the new Philipsburg High School is Senator Michael Doherty (R-Warren), whose legislative district includes not only Phillipsburg but several surrounding suburban districts that send their students to the regional Phillipsburg High School: Alpha, Bloomsbury, Greenwich, Lopatcong and Hopatcong.
Governor Chris Christie also attended today’s ribbon cutting at this desperately needed new school, which contains state of the art classrooms and specialized spaces to meet the needs of students, including an instrumental and vocal music room, fine and visual arts rooms, a material testing lab, a greenhouse, and a large Media Center. The school is also equipped with a 1,000-seat auditorium, a gymnasium capable of seating 2,500 spectators, and an auxilary gym.
This school year also saw the opening of a new school in Jersey City. The $54.6 million Dr. Maya Angelou Public School (P.S. 20) currently enrolls close to 600 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. But the school is prepared for community growth with a capacity of up to 698 students. The facility includes a STEM lab, a multimedia center equipped with a computer lab, and a multipurpose auditorium. Each classroom in the building has an interactive board, and there is airconditioning and wifi throughout the entire building.
Funding for P.S. 20 was also provided by NJ’s school construction program, overseen by the Schools Development Authority (SDA), a state agency that engages in construction and financing of facilities projects.
P.S. 20 is part of the Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) program and is also a grant recipient of the Healthy Schools Initiative.
For more information about NJ’s school facilities program, visit these pages on the Education Law Center website.
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