TANTILLO: New Jersey Parents, We Have a Reading ProblemFebruary 6, 2023
Trenton’s Achievers Early College Preparatory School Celebrates Its Approval to Add High SchoolFebruary 7, 2023
On Wednesday, February 2nd, Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. was joined by Governor Phil Murphy at the opening and dedication of Essex County Newark Tech with its $31.7 million renovation that includes a new three-story addition and the complete remake of all other existing classroom spaces.
Essex County Newark Tech is the third school building in the Essex County Schools of Technology District to undergo renovations in the last five years.
“The transformation of our Schools of Technology District is amazing and would not be possible without the support and assistance from Governor Murphy. In the past five years, we have opened three new schools and provided our students with the most up-to-date facilities, labs and classrooms to learn and grow without burdening our taxpayers,” DiVincenzo said, noting that the State is repaying 90 percent of the construction debt. “This creates enormous opportunities for our students and provides a strong educational foundation on which they can build their lives,” he added.
“New Jersey is quickly becoming the center of the technological revolutions happening in so many industries. As the jobs of tomorrow are being built all around us, the skilled minds that will fill those jobs will be nurtured right here,” Governor Phil Murphy said. “Moreover, as we build a diverse new economy, we’re going to build a diverse workforce. This is the magic of Newark Tech, in particular, and the Essex County Schools of Technology. This would not be possible without the leadership of County Executive Joe DiVincenzo, whom I am proud to have as a partner in governing,” he added. “The County Executive has provided unbelievable support for our students and school district.
“It is a privilege to be part of this moment. Thank you, Mr. County Executive, for this wonderful gift. This will enhance our learning environment and our commitment to providing a world-class education to our students,” Essex County Newark Tech Principal Carmen Morales said. “On behalf of our student body, we are excited to transition back to Newark Tech.
It’s fascinating to see all of this,” said senior Emily Robles, referring to the year and a half that students attended classes at the former Bloomfield Tech building. “This new building is long-awaited, and we appreciate all that the county executive and governor have done. Returning to Newark Tech represents progress and perseverance on behalf of my classmates,” said senior Emmanuel Ishola.
The project’s centerpiece is a three-story, 16,500-square-foot addition built on the rear of the school building. The expansion has a modern entry on the first floor, an innovation/media center on the second floor and a cafeteria on the third floor. The more significant media center and cafeteria replaced much smaller facilities, making scheduling classes logistically difficult because the rooms could not accommodate large numbers of students.
For example, because of the small size of the old cafeteria, some students were assigned lunch periods as early as 10 a.m.
The 165,000 square feet of space inside the existing school building was completely overhauled. Two new physics labs, a new suite for the school nurse, a second TEAL (Technology Enhanced Active Learning) Center and general classrooms were created. The existing cafeteria kitchen and serving area, faculty lounge, cabinetry lab and office spaces were converted into the second TEAL Center. The renovation also included refurbishing an existing wheelchair lift and freight elevator and modernizing restrooms for students and staff. The entire building received a state-of-the-art HVAC system, fire alarm system, upgraded electrical system and audio-visual and IT systems.
DiCara Rubino Architects from Wayne was awarded a $2,200,000 contract to design the addition and renovations. Epic Management from Piscataway was awarded a publicly bid contract for $28,509,000 to perform the construction. Jingoli and Sons from Lawrence were awarded a $999,069 contract to serve as the project’s construction manager.
Essex County Newark Tech is the third school building construction project undertaken by the County Executive within the last five years. Construction on the Essex County Donald M. Payne, Sr. School of Technology started in 2016 and lasted two years, with the school opening in 2018 at a cost of about $102 million. The $30 million project to expand and modernize the Essex County West Caldwell School of Technology started once the Payne School was completed and welcomed its first class in September 2021. Construction at Essex County Newark Tech started in May 2021 and was completed in just 19 months.
Ninety percent of the costs for the school construction projects is being reimbursed with grants from the State of New Jersey. Essex County is only responsible for paying just 10 percent of the costs, which comes to about $16 million. Part of those costs were offset by the sale of the old North 13th Street Tech in Newark and the future sale of the old Bloomfield Tech in Bloomfield.
Major additions to Newark Tech that were made in the past include constructing the TEAL Center in 2013 and the new gymnasium that opened in 2007.
The Essex County Vocational Technical School District is New Jersey’s first and one of its largest Vocational Technical School Systems. Created in 1914, the school system provides both occupational and academic instruction for high school and adult students in Essex County.
The district has four high schools: Bloomfield Tech, Newark Tech, North 13th Street Tech and West Caldwell Tech. In addition, the system provides adult programs in the evening at its Adult Training Center at Newark Tech.
The district has an enrollment of approximately 2,200 students and provides high-level state-of-the-art career skill development and academic opportunities in over 25 occupational areas.