New Elliott Street School first newly constructed building in district since 2010
[Newark, NJ – February 25, 2016] – Superintendent Christopher D. Cerf of Newark Public Schools (NPS) joined Governor Chris Christie, Mayor Ras Baraka, Principal Nicole Johnson, Assistant Superintendent Roger León, State Senator M. Teresa Ruiz and Essex Corsunty Executive Joseph DiVincenzo yesterday in welcoming students, parents and teachers to the grand opening of the new Elliott Street School in Newark. The School Development Authority (SDA) invested $41,545,300 dollars to build the state-of-the-art school, which is the first newly constructed facility in the school district since the completion of the new Speedway Avenue Elementary School in 2010.
“Today is a great day for the parents, students and teachers of Elliott Street School who have been patiently waiting for their new school to be constructed,” said Superintendent Cerf, Superintendent of NPS. “This state-of-the-art facility is going to help us provide an excellent education for our school children and will have a profound impact on this community.”
The new Elliott School building, located at 721 Summer Avenue, features brand new, state-of-the-art facilities, including specialized instruction classrooms, labs and media centers. The new building is 138,000 square feet that can serve approximately 898 students with a total of 42 classrooms.
“We are incredibly grateful to the School Development Authority and so many community leaders for coming together to open our new school. It is truly an exciting moment for our students and faculty who finally have a school to call their own,” said Principal Nicole Johnson of Elliott Street School. “After years spent commuting to overcrowded schools, the students of Elliot Street School can now continue their education together in this brand new, modern facility.”
The school currently serves grades prekindergarten through 4 and will serve grades prekindergarten through 5 in the 2016-2017 school year. In addition, the building has a separate cafeteria, gym, and multi-purpose room with a stage. A time-lapse video of the new facility being built can be found here.
“It was incredible to watch parents, students and teachers walk into the new Elliott School for the first time,” said Roger León, NPS Assistant Superintendent. “Our community has wanted to create the best learning environment possible for our students for several years now, and today is a new day for our kids at Elliott Street School. I am looking forward to seeing how our new school will help improve the quality of life for so many of our families.”
Yesterday’s ribbon cutting ceremony represents years of extensive planning and collaboration by school community leaders to rebuild Elliott Street School, which burned down in 2006 after being struck by lightning. Since then, students have been attending schools in other neighborhoods in various locations and most recently the Old First Avenue School.
“This is a momentous day for the City of Newark and for the Elliott Street School administration, staff, students and families,” said Senator M. Teresa Ruiz. “This new state-of-the-art facility will contribute to a positive learning experience for our children and serve as a source of pride for the community. I want to thank the Christie Administration, the Schools Development Authority and the Newark Public Schools for their dedication to this project. I especially want to thank the Elliott Street School community for all of their efforts and patience throughout this process.”
In addition to Elliott Street School, the district is also rebuilding Oliver Street School, which is slated to open in the spring of 2016 and planning a construction project at South Street School, which is planned for completion in fall of 2018. These new buildings represent a new standard for facilities in the district that NPS leaders hope to build upon in coming years.