Work begins on new Camden school

May 30, 2008 3:06:22 PM PDT
It's a big day in Camden. Construction is underway on a new school: Thomas H. Dudley elementary school in East Camden. The $42 million "community " school as it's called, is the fourth but not the last funded by the New Jersey Schools Development Authority or SDA.

"It will be five or six schools, totaling approximately 300 to 400 million dollars," said Jerry Murphy of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority.

Donning yellow hard hats and plastic shovels, children from the Cato Community School assisted the big wigs in the ceremonial groundbreaking. They also provided the entertainment. The Pre-K through 6th grade school will serve East Camden and replace a 104-year old facility. Gilberto and Aida Santana watched the event, thrilled that the construction alone has cleared away vacant properties and drug hangouts.

As a community school Dudley will be open extended hours so parents and the neighborhood can utilize the facility.

"People in the community will have access to the library, to the technology, so it's energizing for everyone," said Davida Coe-Brockington, assistant superintendent.

The school should be ready by September, 2009. Meanwhile groundbreaking for the new Morgan Village School, also funded by the SDA, is expected this September.