On Friday, November 15, the Jersey City Board of Education held a special meeting to provide a public forum for discussion on the progress of the A. Harry Moore facility situation.
New Jersey City University was represented at this meeting where we expressed our gratitude to the Jersey City Board of Education, the Jersey City School District, and the parents, faculty, and staff of A. Harry Moore and the Regional Day School, all of whom have demonstrated a shared commitment to solving what has been a challenging situation as we work collectively toward the ideal solution to ensure the quality of services and education on behalf of students in the A. Harry Moore program.
NJCU has historically been responsible for the provision of special education and services at A. Harry Moore, while the Jersey City Board of Education has been responsible for the provision of the facility. The A. Harry Moore facility is owned by the landlord, Jersey City School District and the University is the tenant.
Since notification by the School District that the A. Harry Moore facility could not be used for the University’s program, we are grateful that the School District continues to provide a facility by securing space in the Regional Day School. We are also sensitive to the need for additional space at the Regional Day School facility to better accommodate staff and students.
NJCU is currently awaiting an update on additional trailers for this purpose. The University had hoped this might occur by June 2020 and look to the JCBOE for updates toward this goal. Meanwhile, NJCU and the JCBOE have agreed to explore additional permanent spaces to be operational by fall 2020 at the earliest.
The University has stated from the outset that our arrangements in the Regional Day facility would be temporary and that modifications and enhancements would be required in order to remain in this space. Any new space will need to be retrofitted to accommodate the needs of the students.
The University program had been operating in approximately 50,000 square feet of space in the A. Harry Moore facility, and is now condensed into eight classrooms in one wing of the Regional Day School, making this space inadequate for students and staff, and problematic for the Regional Day School community.
The JCBOE is exploring an alternate school in Jersey City which may have adequate space. NJCU is hopeful that the Jersey City Board of Education will remain a strong partner and will find a viable facilities solution. NJCU is working with a local real estate agency to determine the costs associated with a leased space.
The JCBOE indicated that the engineer’s report had been released. NJCU looks forward to reviewing this report. Based on a report from 2018, NJCU had provided JCBOE with a $16 million estimate to repair the current facility.
The University is committed to its ongoing efforts to partner with the Jersey City School District to ensure that Jersey City School District—and some out-of-district students—receive the finest care and education available.
The University is working diligently each and every day toward resolution on this issue, and will continue to provide updates as they become available.