NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — The Board of Education got a live presentation Tuesday night focusing on a sweeping plan that would include the construction of a new $55 million school.
The president of DEVCO and the director of The Cancer Institute of New Jersey used a PowerPoint presentation to outline a plan in which the state's first free-standing cancer hospital would be built on the site of Lincoln Annex School on Somerset Street.
As part of the plan, DEVCO President Chris Paladino said a state-of-the-art school would be built to replace Lincoln Annex after it is razed.
As Paladino and Dr. Stephen Libutti spoke, about 100 audience members held up signs in silent protest.
Many of them met out in front of New Brunswick High School before the meeting to decry the plan. Many said they don't want Lincoln Annex students sent to the district's learning center at 40 Van Dyke Ave.
They held signs that read, "Save Our School" and "Don't Sell Our School."
Paladino revealed that at the board's urging, it has also looked into building the replacement school at 50 Jersey Ave.
He said the 4.25-acre site near Walgreen's has a "footprint that works." Some 120 parking spaces and a playground would fit on the site.
The presentation was important because the decision to allow Lincoln Annex to be part of the deal would have to be approved by the nine-member board.
Superintendent Aubrey Johnson last week hosted a meeting with parents of students at Lincoln Annex. The school is home to about 750 students in grades 4-8.
More than 30 audience members signed up to speak during the public comment section of the meeting. Many said they are against building a replacement school Jersey Avenue, which is contaminated. Others said that it would be a hardship to get to travel to the learning center, which is about 1.7 miles from Lincoln Annex.
Under the plan, RWJ would pick up the $750 million tab for the Cancer Pavilion and the replacement school.