School district receives funding for new technical education facility

Bayonne Academy, on the BHS campus, will receive over $9 million in state funds

Bayonne Academy, on the Bayonne High School campus, is set to receive over $9 million in funding from the Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act (SOCFBA). The state funding, allocated for county vocational schools, will fund renovation and new construction to increase student capacity.

Governor Phil Murphy, Acting Commissioner of Education Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, and Secretary of Higher Education Dr. Brian Bridges announced on May 28 that Bayonne Academy will receive a total of $9,930,113.

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“I have long believed that investments in our students and schools are investments in the future of our state,” said Murphy. “These projects will help our school districts and institutions of higher education keep students safe and healthy, while also ensuring that they are ready for the careers of the future.”

The school district partnered with the Hudson County Schools of Technology (HCST) and Hudson County for the project in January. That month, the Board of Education voted to adopt a resolution approving a memorandum of agreement among the board, Hudson County, and HCST to apply for the grant and also approved a lease agreement between the board and HCST.

New tennis courts 

The district will lease the land near Bayonne High School currently occupied by two tennis courts to HCST. On the land, HCST will construct a 36,000-square-foot, two-story facility as part of the expansion of Career Technical Education programs at the high school.

The facility will house additional classrooms, industry shops, and a cosmetology room. The plans call for renovating parts of the current career technical education classrooms in the high school leased by HCST.

The new facility will be open to Bayonne High School students as well as HCST students taking vocational classes. The school district is bursting at the seams, and the new building would remedy that.

The renovations come at no cost to the district because the grant will fund most of the project, and the county will pay for the rest. The district will build new tennis courts following HCST’s construction of the technical education facility.

“I am delighted to see that the state is choosing to make an investment in Bayonne students,” said Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti. “With this necessary and much-needed funding, our students will have the opportunity to learn in environments that will help them grow. I commend Superintendent Niesz and his team for their great work.”

“This is exciting news for us, and we look forward to more good news for our educational community,” said Bayonne Superintendent of Schools John Niesz. “We thank Assemblyman Chiaravalloti for all of his work as we go through this process, and we are looking forward to the final award. This application was in conjunction with the Hudson County Vocational Schools and County. We are very excited for our future vocational and career students, and we will discuss more at our June Board of Education meeting.”

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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