NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The sweeping plan to raze a school and build a state-of-the-art cancer hospital on the site now hinges on the Board of Education to identify a site to build a new school.
Now that Superintendent of Schools Aubrey Johnson has convened a replacement school committee consisting of Lincoln Annex School parents and faculty, community leaders and Board of Education members, the choice seems to be narrowed to two.
The option of using 131 Jersey Ave. – and possibly a part or all of 121 Jersey Ave. - as a site was part of the plan’s roll out. Mayor Jim Cahill, Cancer Institute of New Jersey Director Dr. Steven Libutti and DEVCO president Chris Paladino introduced the plan at a meeting last month at DEVCO offices. That would give builders 4.7 acres to 6.7 acres to work with. The site is contaminated and would need remediation.
The 4.25-acre site at 50 Jersey Ave. was later identified as a possibility by Board of Education members.
Paladino said the construction of the $55 million replacement school complete with a playground area and ample parking would work on either site.
However, strictly from a builder’s perspective, the property at 50 Jersey Ave. “from a geometry standpoint, it’s probably more efficient.”
“We gave them some baseline information about both sites, but they’re going to come back to us with a group of questions,” Paladino told TAPinto New Brunswick. “The thought was that in a couple of weeks that they will come up with a recommendation of which is the preferred site I assumed we would take this group and expand it and let it be part of the group work with on the school’s designs, to start to focus on details and use it as a sounding board for the community to make sure we build a school that meets their needs. “
The plan to build a 12-story Cancer Pavilion and the replacement school would cost an estimated $750 million, with RWJ picking up the tab.