Governor Chris Christie was in Hudson County to announce the recommendation of 20 new school construction projects in 18 New Jersey towns.

Speaking at a news conference at Memorial High School in West New York, Christie said the projects would bring sound fiscal management and responsibility to to the state's long-troubled School Development Authority.

"Modern and durable schools that meet our children's needs and standards will be built in districts where the need is the greatest. The SDA will no longer build palaces in districts of the politically connected."

SDA CEO Mark Larkins says the 2012 portfolio recognizes school facilities that need the most help. "Over the past year, the SDA has established a cost effective approach to constructing SDA school facilities projects. In doing so, we are able to provide more facilities for more students utilizing our limited resources."

Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Mercer/Hunterdon) praised the Christie administration for including Trenton Central High School on its new list of school construction projects for 2012.

"I'm very pleased to see the administration finally take steps toward improving the unacceptable building conditions at Trenton Central High School. This decision is long overdue, but at least we finally appear to be moving toward progress."

One of the projects is the long-planned construction of a new Phillipsburg High School., to which Senator Doherty (R-23) said is necessary due to massive overcrowding.

"Half of the students at the current high school have classes in trailers that have been kept in use well beyond their expected lifespan," Doherty stated. "Rather than enhancing our children's education, it's clear that our current facilities are a major detraction. It's about time that we get our kids out of ramshackle trailers and into proper classrooms."

Eight of the capital projects represent a state investment of $675 million.

The 2012 Project Portfolio

Gloucester City - Gloucester City Middle School

Keansburg - Caruso Elementary School

New Brunswick - Paul Robeson Community Elementary School

Newark - Elliot Street Elementary School

Newark - South Street Elementary School

Passaic - Dayton Avenue Elementary School Campus

Phillipsburg - Phillipsburg High School

West New York - Memorial High School


Projects addressing high educational priority needs that require further discussions with the District:

Elizabeth - Elementary School grade level

Garfield - Elementary School grade level

Harrison - Middle School grade level

Millville - High School grade level

Paterson - Elementary School grade level

Perth Amboy - All grade levels

Union City - Elementary School grade level


Projects that address serious facility deficiencies:

Camden - Camden High School

Hoboken - Thomas G. Connors Elementary School

Orange - Cleveland Elementary School

Orange - Orange High School

Trenton - Trenton Central High School