Education

A Haven for Roxbury Students Not Interested in College?

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Roxbury High School's former auto shop
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Inside Roxbury High School's former auto shop
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Inside Roxbury High School's former auto shop
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Inside Roxbury High School's former auto shop
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ROXBURY, NJ – College is great, but it’s not for everybody. With that in mind, Roxbury school officials are hoping to return to those students a section of Roxbury High School that once catered to the workplace-bound.

Tucked behind the high school, the former high school auto shop was once a place for students who liked working on car transmissions more than working on college transcripts. It’s three overhead garage-bay doors remain, but the big room is now used for equipment and supply storage.

Teachers, students, parents and residents are being asked to offer ideas on how to convert the 2,500-square-foot space into something educationally useful for today’s high schoolers who want careers, not more college, upon graduation.

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The effort, dubbed “Roxbury Re-imagined,” is being spearheaded by Roxbury Schools Superintendent Loretta Radulic.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said school board President Leo Coakley on Sunday. “It had been thought about previously; what that area can be used for educationally. Loretta came up with idea of doing a community survey … Who knows? Somebody might have a great idea out there that nobody’s thought of.”

Given that the area is stuffed with stuff these days, part of the retrofit process will involve finding another place to put the stored items, Coakley said.

He noted that, because it’s such a large area, the space could serve several new purposes. “It doesn’t have to be for one thing,” he said. “It could be divided into sections, but it will be primarily for students who are not thinking about going onto college ... Although most of our students go to college, some don’t and we’re supposed to provide for all of our students.”

Coakley said the goal is to have the former auto shop retrofitted into its new use, or uses, within two years. He said residents should soon be receiving a survey asking for ideas.

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