Above: Former NJ Commissioner of Education and Current President of Kean University Lamont Repollet, Carteret Board of Education President Martin Murray, Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly Craig Coughlin, Carteret Mayor Daniel Reiman, NJ Governor Phil Murphy, Carteret Superintendent Rosa Diaz, Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez, and Gregg Stopa, AIA, Vice President and Partner at DMR Architects at the Sept. 29 groundbreaking.
Governor Murphy was on hand to celebrate the groundbreaking of Carteret’s DMR Architects-designed junior high school that will support the municipality’s 21st Century educational practices and enhance the learning experience for all students.
State and local officials in attendance also included Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly Craig Coughlin, Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez, Carteret Mayor Daniel Reiman, Superintendent of Carteret Public Schools Rosa Diaz, and President of the Carteret Board of Education Martin Murray.
Plans for the 60,000 square foot school include 24 classrooms for traditional subjects with dedicated spaces for enhanced art and music education, a think tank, and a STEM lab for 600 seventh and eighth graders.
“Carteret continues to move into the future with vast improvements to our schools,” said Daniel Reiman, Mayor of Carteret. “The new Junior High School will provide a greater environment for our children to learn and will increase property value, helping to make Carteret an even better place to live, work, and raise a family.”
“Studies show that students exposed to the arts and innovative sciences like coding generally perform better in school,” said Rosa Diaz, Superintendent for Carteret’s school system that educates 4,000 students. “The new school is much more than a brick and mortar building. It is a major step that will bring us closer to becoming the premier school district I know we were destined to be.”
“Carteret is making an investment in its students’ futures by providing them with educational spaces beyond traditional subjects,” said Lloyd A. Rosenberg, AIA. “We’re being asked to create ‘maker’ and ‘FAB’ and other alternative learning spaces that allow kids to explore, learn and tinker, and secure critical thinking skills that will benefit them in high school and beyond.”
The new Junior High School is part of a $37 million referendum passed in September 2019. Also as part of the referendum, DMR is completing renovations to the district’s five existing schools, with projects including upgrades to the high school auditorium and bathroom, HVAC, and stair tower upgrades across multiple schools.
Once completed, the new junior high school will allow for a reassignment and realignment that would result in the three existing elementary schools serving pre-K-fourth grade; the existing middle school serving grades five and six; the new junior high school serving grades seven and eight; and the existing high school serving grades nine-12. In addition to addressing overcrowding, the construction of the new school will open up space to provide full-day kindergarten and additional pre-K programs.
The project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2022.