SDA Officials Break Ground for New South Street Elementary School in Newark

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[NEWARK, NJ] – New Jersey Schools Development Authority (SDA) CEO Charles McKenna joined Newark School District leaders today to break ground for the new South Street Elementary School.

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Superintendent Chris Cerf speaking at the groundbreaking for South Street School

“The construction of the South Street School and the two new schools that SDA opened in Newark earlier this year, mark a new beginning for the thousands of students who will walk the halls of these facilities,” said SDA CEO Charles McKenna. “This milestone we celebrate today exemplifies the State’s partnership and commitment with Superintendent Cerf and local representatives to provide Newark students with 21st century learning environments.”

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.

“Today is a great day not only for the students, families and educators that make up the historic South Street School community, but for all of Newark Public Schools” said Superintendent Christopher D. Cerf of Newark Public Schools (NPS). “South Street School was established over 130 years ago, and thanks to the Christie Administration and the Newark leaders who advocated for this project, this school community will soon be able to enjoy a new 103,000 square foot state-of-the-art educational facility. Once open, the new South Street School building will be a place that provides our children with a positive and safe learning environment that will foster their academic and personal growth.”

The school is being constructed on a SDA acquired site. Prior to the start of construction, early site preparation activities were completed to ready the site for the new school.
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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. The design-build method also allows for some design and construction activities to proceed concurrently through phased advancement, an approach that potentially allows for improvement upon the original overall schedule.

Ernest Bock & Sons, Inc. of Philadelphia, PA was awarded a $36.9 million design-build contract for the design and construction of the school. As part of the design-build contract, Ernest Bock & Sons, Inc. is working with SSP Architectural Group of Bridgewater, New Jersey on the design. The project is being managed by STV Construction of New York. The total estimated project cost is $69.9 million.

To date, the SDA has invested more than $679 million in completed projects in Newark alone including seven new schools. Its current portfolio of active projects is valued at approximately $2 billion – including the Capital Project portfolio, emergent projects and Regular Operating District grants.


njcomGroundbreaking day for Newark city schools | The New Jersey Schools Development Authority and Newark Public Schools have broken ground on the new South Street Elementary School in the city’s Ironbound section. The new 103,000-square-foot facility … will feature 29 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. The new school, which will accommodate 657 students in grades Pre-K through 8, will replace the original South Street Elementary School, which was built in 1883. “Today is a great day not only for the students, families and educators that make up the historic South Street School community, but for all of Newark Public Schools,” said Newark superintendent of schools Christopher D. Cerf at the Sept. 9 groundbreaking. (The Star Ledger, 9/18)