SOUTH ORANGE / MAPLEWOOD, NJ — The South Orange–Maplewood Board of Education took another step forward in its Long Range Facilities Plan at a meeting on May 10, approving a contract for renovations and to build additions at Clinton Elementary School and Jefferson Elementary School. The contract resolution passed with a vote of 8-0; BOE First Vice President Shannon Cuttle had technical difficulties on Zoom and didn’t vote.
According to BOE President Thair Joshua, the district solicited bids on the project on March 11 and received them on April 28. Twenty-two companies requested packages and 11 returned a bid.
The board and administrators applauded when the motion passed.
“This has been a long time,” Joshua said at the meeting. “That’s two down, and we’ve got four to go. We look forward to seeing more of these in the coming weeks and months.”
According to the LRFP, 12 new classrooms will be added to the building at Clinton. The four portable classrooms at the school will be removed. At Jefferson, 10 new classrooms will be built. Part of the reason the schools need more classrooms is to limit overcrowding.
“Twenty-eight percent of our students do not attend their zoned school due to overcrowding,” the district’s final LRFP presentation from 2019 said. “Schools are mandated by the Comprehensive Equity Plan to ensure that the demographics of each school in the district align to the district overall. Our previous efforts of the Marshall/Jefferson pairing and the opt-in at Seth Boyden have not maintained demographics to meet this mandate.”