NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City Councilman Kevin Egan indicated it is unlikely a city school never replaced after its demolition almost seven years ago will be built in 2012, at the Council’s December 28 meeting.
Egan, who also serves on New Jersey’s School Development Authority, blamed “budgetary issues” for the failure to construct a new building to replace the A.C. Redshaw Elementary School on Livingston Avenue.
“Right now I can tell you that we talked about two schools that are definitely going to be built in 2012. New Brunswick is not one of them at the moment,” he told the sparse crowd at the body’s final meeting of 2011.
Since 2004, the school’s students have been attending classes in a warehouse on Van Dyke Avenue constructed to first serve as a temporary school. The five-year lease with Euro LLC, aka Wick Enterprises, was renewed for another five years in 2009.
Egan said, “It’s almost like winning the lottery right now to get a school built.”
The Councilman said the SDA, a body he was appointed to by Governor Jon Corzine, was responsible for the failure to replace Redshaw, not Mayor James Cahill. “It’s not the Mayor’s fault… I happen to be on the SDA. It’s in our hands.”
In October 2009, Mayor James Cahill told students at a Rutgers Democrats meeting that pre-construction on a new Redshaw would begin “before the end of the year.”
“The Mayor would love to have it be built yesterday, but it’s budgetary issues. You know, it’s an issue of money and who is in need more. If you came to an SDA meeting, you’ll see testimony by hundreds of municipalities.”
Egan also attempted to describe another cause of the delays: changes in hiring models.
“And what they’re doing now, they’re taking everything back. All the models of hiring CM’s (construction managers) and general contractors, they’re trying to take that out of the scheme and do like a box version where it’s almost uniformity throughout the state and they’ve been working on that issue also and, so, that’s what prolonging it.”
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.