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Edison considers adding high school

EDISON — The “hopes and dreams” of building a third high school is a hope and dream that needs to become a reality.

That is why the Edison Board of Education approved a resolution at a meeting on July 31 for LAN Associates, Midland Park, Bergen County, to perform a survey and evaluation of the property between John P. Stevens High School and John Adams Middle School.

Board Business Administrator Dan Michaud said one of the board’s 2017-18 goals was to investigate expanding the educational facilities to address the severe overcrowding problem that has existed for many years and continues to get worse every year.

“The district is investigating property that it already owns to save the expense of purchasing property elsewhere,” he said. “The LAN report will determine the feasibility of building on this property.”

Board President Frank Heelan said the district is up more than 480 students from last year already mid-summer.

Last year, the district saw 600 additional students throughout the school year, Heelan said.

The ever increasing student population has district officials discussing the possibility of a third high school, which is one of this year’s goals in the district’s Facilities Plan.

“Obviously we need a few more buildings to support this [growth],” Heelan said. “The enrollment increase is frightening us.”

Heelan said with 4,500 plus students across the district, the need for a third high school is urgent.

On June 21, the district saw 368 students graduate from J.P. Stevens and 489 students graduate from Edison High.

The board president said they are also discussing the possibility of a new middle school. The district currently has four middle schools.

“That’s why we are looking at the property between John Adams Middle School and J.P. Stevens because there is about 80 free acres,” Heelan said.

The survey conducted by LAN Associates will allow the district to assess if all the 80 acres are able to be used barring any wetlands on the site and will allow the district to weigh cost factors, Heelan said.

He said the board would also like to look at the possibility of redistricting and have a possible grades 8-9 school as well as the possibility of implementing a full-time kindergarten and pre-Kindergarten program.

“It’s all of which we would love to have,” he said. “We hope something will come of these hopes and dreams, which are something that we really need.”

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