NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — About 200 parents, residents, activists, and children walked down Somerset Street this morning to descend on the Rutgers Board of Governors meeting at noon at Winants Hall and protest the plans to raze the Lincoln Annex School to make way for a new a $750 million Cancer Pavilion.
Some protestors brandished signs reading "Save My School" and "Don't Close Good Schools."
They chanted "we said it once, we said it twice, our school is not for sale."
Some pushed children in strollers as the protest streamed down Alexander Street and onto French Street.
This matter is not on the Rutgers Board of Governors' agenda, the protestors believe this is an opportunity to address the Rutgers' hierarchy.
Earlier this month, officials with RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, iDEVCO and the city unveiled plans to build the free-standing cancer pavilion.
The plan calls for the razing of the Lincoln Annex School on Somerset Street and the construction of the pavilion on that site. That location makes it ideal because of its proximity to the hospital and the current Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.
The students in grades 4-8 who attend Lincoln Annex would be moved to the school district’s facility at 40 Van Dyke Ave. while a so-called replacement school is built on Jersey Avenue.
The City Council earlier this month took the first formal step in the plan when it voted to approve a resolution that refers a redevelopment plan to the Planning Board for review and report. The Planning Board would turn its findings over to the nine-member Board of Education, which would have final say on the fate of Lincoln Annex.
The protestors decried the plan that would send the students to the school district's facility on Jersey Avenue while a replacement school is built.
They also said the plan would affect a neighborhood predominantly consisting of working-class Latin American and Hispanic families. According to one chant, "Up with Education, down with gentrification."