Christie Administration Officials Celebrate Construction Progress of New School with Beam Signing Event in Newark

[NEWARK, NJ] New Jersey Schools Development Authority (SDA) CEO Charles McKenna joined Newark students and local officials for a “beam signing” ceremony to highlight the progress of construction on the new South Street Elementary School. The ceremony celebrated the ongoing construction of the school by signing the steel beam that will be hoisted into place as a permanent part of the new facility.

“Today is a great opportunity to celebrate the construction of this new school with the Newark community,” said SDA CEO Charles McKenna. “As the children sign their names and make their mark on their new school, we are reminded that this building will help to provide a bright educational future for generations of Newark students.”

Located in the East Ward, the new South Street Elementary School will be an approximately 103,000 square foot facility designed to accommodate 657 students in grades pre-kindergarten through eight. The project includes a separate parking area adjacent to the new facility. Once complete, the school will include 29 general classrooms, two science labs, six small group instruction rooms, a computer/technology lab, a world languages classroom, instrumental and vocal music rooms, an art room, a media center, a multipurpose room with stage, a cafeteria and a gymnasium.

“I am thrilled to participate in today’s beam signing ceremony which represents all of the hard work by the Christie Administration, New Jersey Schools Development Authority and Newark community leaders to make the new South Street School a reality,” said Christopher D. Cerf, Superintendent of Newark Public Schools. “Established over 130 years ago, South Street School is an integral part of our community. This new, state-of-the-art, 103,000 square foot facility will give South Street School students an opportunity to learn in an inspiring and nurturing learning environment that will positively impact future generations.”

The school is being built using the design-build approach. This method differs from the traditional approach in that SDA contracts with one firm for both design and construction of a school facilities project. Ernest Bock & Sons, Inc. of Philadelphia, PA is the design-build contractor, working in partnership with SSP Architectural Group of Bridgewater, New Jersey on the design. The project is being managed by STV Construction of New York. Total estimated project costs are $69.9 million.

To date, the SDA has invested more than $679 million in completed projects in Newark alone, including seven new schools. This includes the Oliver Street School and Elliott Street School, which both opened to students in 2016. The SDA’s current portfolio of active projects is valued at approximately $2 billion – including the Capital Project portfolio, emergent projects and Regular Operating District grants.