24 Jun ESSEX COUNTY EXECUTIVE DIVINCENZO ANNOUNCES START OF UNITED HOSPITAL DEMOLITION Essex County Donald M. Payne, Sr. Vocational Technical School Campus to Open in 2018

Newark, NJ – Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. and the Essex County Vocational Technical School District announced that the demolition of the former United Hospital complex on West Market Street in Newark was started on Wednesday, June 24th. The 7.5-acre site is being developed into the new Essex County Donald M. Payne, Sr. Vocational Technical School Campus, which is anticipated to open in 2018.

“We are pleased to get this school construction project started because it gets us on our way to creating a modern building that will provide our students with appropriate facilities to prepare for their futures,” DiVincenzo said.

“Today is a giant step forward in our process to construct a new Vocational Technical School for our students,” Essex County Vocational Technical Schools Superintendent Dr. Frank Cocchiola said.

Joining the County Executive at the photo op were Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, Freeholder President Britnee Timberlake, Freeholders Rufus Johnson, Lebby Jones, Wayne Richardson and Cynthia Toro, and Newark Councilman Joe McCallum.

Tricon Enterprises Inc. from Keyport was awarded a $1.6 million contract to raze the buildings on the former hospital campus. The first structure being demolished is the four-story parking deck. Crews from Tricon have been on site since early May removing hazardous material from the main hospital buildings and preparing the site for the demolition process. All the structures on the site are scheduled to be removed by the end of 2015 so that construction on the school can begin in January 2016.

The County Executive held a public meeting at the West Market Street site on May 4th to outline the demolition process and describe the new school to the community; there were 93 residents who attended. A second community meeting will be held tomorrow (Thursday, June 25th) at 6:30 p.m. at the site. In addition, a letter responding to many of the questions raised during the first meeting was mailed to those who attended the meeting and hand-delivered to properties in a four-block radius around the site earlier this month.

The Essex County Donald M. Payne, Sr. Vocational Technical School Campus will replace the Essex County Bloomfield Tech Campus and the Essex County North 13th Street Tech Campus in Newark, both of which were in 1929. These facilities were designed to meet the educational needs of an earlier time, require significant maintenance and are more difficult to adapt to the modern curriculum.

The Essex County Vocational Technical School District is New Jersey’s first and one of its largest Vocational Technical School Systems. Created in 1914, the school system provides both occupational and academic instruction for high school and adult students in Essex County. The district has four high schools: Bloomfield Tech, Newark Tech, North 13th Street Tech and West Caldwell Tech. In addition, the system provides adult programs in the evening at its Adult Training Center at Newark Tech. The district has an enrollment of approximately 2,200 students and provides high level state-of-the-art career skill development and academic opportunities in over 25 occupational areas. For more information on Essex County’s Vocational Technical Schools, visit www.essextech.org.

Anthony Puglisi
Lauren Shears