ELIZABETH — Gov. Chris Christie’s review of the Schools Development Authority construction program resulted in the recommendation to advance 10 projects in 2011, including the Academic Magnet High School in Elizabeth. These projects represent a state investment of almost $584 million.
“We all know that the prior program was associated with the absolute worst kind of government waste, mismanagement and lack of supervision, where much was promised, too much was spent, but too little was returned,” Christie said. “I could not responsibly or in good conscience let that history repeat itself at this agency. We will move forward smartly and deliberatively to deliver value to the school districts and to our taxpayers.”
“The completion of the Capital Plan Review marks a new day for school construction in New Jersey,” said CEO Marc Larkins. “With a statewide prioritization in place, new project delivery processes planned, and a full understanding of the SDA’s capacity – the Authority is poised to move forward with these 10 projects to address the needs of our students and communities.”
The Capital Program is the result of a comprehensive review formulated over a six-month period by an internal working group consisting of SDA and Department of Education officials and reflects a wholesale strategy shift from the SDA’s earlier 2008 Capital Plan. The changes reflect a commitment to the efficient and proper use of public funds, a prioritization of statewide educational needs and the advancement of sound design and construction principles. Using the same uniform process and selection criteria, the SDA will identify the next group of schools construction project for 2012.
The recommendations announced on Tuesday will be presented to the SDA Board of Directors in March for their review and vote.
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