Just last week, The Hoboken Board of Education announced that the district will present plans for a new high school to the city’s Planning Board next month because of a significant increase in enrollment and the aging of the district’s school buildings. While the reason for finding a new home for students was explained – that the current High School was built in 1962, the building’s deterioration over time – the location was the proposed plan had not yet been released, until November 22nd.
Patch reported on the Hoboken district’s announcement that addresses the reasoning and concept behind a new building for Hoboken High last week. As of October 2020, the district had 2,667 “regular on roll full-time” students, according to school documents, in addition to another 381 full-time special education students, totaling 3,048 students.
Sharyn Angley of the Hoboken Board of Education shared the letter that was sent to the community:
Dear families of the Hoboken Public School District,
As has been widely discussed, District enrollment is on the rise. Since 2015, enrollment has grown, while our facilities, many of them built before 1910, have remained static. With enrollment increases and the general age of the District’s existing buildings, long range facilities planning has been a top priority. In addition, the District has been focused on integration of the community and service to the community as part of our educational goals. We are thrilled to present to the community a facilities project, including a new high school, that will meet the needs of our growing population, our academic programs and will provide recreation space that the entire community will be able to enjoy. We are extremely proud that this project reflects our wider goal of bridging our school community to the broader Hoboken community. Project plans will be presented to the Hoboken Planning Board in early December and community meetings will be open to the public in December as well. The special election will take place on Tuesday, January 25, 2022.
On November 22nd, NJ.com reported on the proposed location for the new school and how it would affect the district, stating, “The building would be erected on the current location of JFK Stadium and would replace the existing high school, which would become the city’s middle school. The current middle school building, which has for years been slated for state-funded upgrades, would become an elementary school.”
Additionally, the school is planned to have a 1,200-student capacity, just one hundred more than the current high school, however, the new location would be designed to allow an additional story to be built on top in years to come should it be necessary.
An administrator told NJ.com that a pool, an ice rink, a recreational space with two gyms, two sheltered outdoor tennis courts, a wellness studio, an occupational and physical therapy room, and a rooftop athletic field that includes running tracks are also in the plans for a new $241 million Hoboken high school. The outlet continued, “for the average taxpayer, that price tag would represent an additional $496 a year for 30 years in property taxes, administrators said.”
“The children that come to our high school deserve a state-of-the-art world-class high school with every opportunity possible in that high school,” Johnson said in a statement. “A community entrance on the opposite side would allow members of the public to come in to use recreational facilities such as the ice rink or tennis courts or to attend shows in either the auditorium or the smaller black box theater.”
Voters will weigh in on the plans during the January 25th municipal election.