Eighty-five years after the Township of Lyndhurst built its last school, the new Lyndhurst Middle School, several years in the making, is ready to change and improve the lives of many youngsters for decades to come.
Last week, Mayor Robert B. Giangeruso cut a ribbon with other dignitaries on hand to officially open the school, two years after shovels first dug into the ground.
It all culminates with the mayor’s dream of a new school —funded by the township — coming to fruition, thanks to his incredibly hard work and that of his commissioner colleagues, the Lyndhurst Board of Education and scores of educational collaborators.
“This new Lyndhurst Middle School has been an outstanding effort in every sense of the word. As the mayor and on behalf of the Lyndhurst Board of Commissioners today we acknowledge the efforts and hard work of those who were instrumental to the construction phase of this project, especially to the Di Cara Rubino architects for their inventive and creative design,” Giangeruso said in his remarks. “We thank our finance department and our building department, our township attorney for their due diligence and guidance overseeing the daily progress of such a complex project.”
Complex project it was. But it results in what can only be described as one of if not the most innovative school in the area.
Upon entering the new school, students are greeted by a 21st Century learning facility designed to meet the most current educational standards. The building is designed to be a complete learning environment for all. Through a dynamic collaborative design process, abundant innovative learning spaces that support modern teaching methodologies are found throughout the school.
Di Cara Rubino architects say almost every space was examined for its potential to serve as a learning environment. Break-out spaces located in corridors outside of classrooms, think tanks and the grand “learning stair” in the central student commons all promote engagement, discovery, group problem solving and the open sharing of ideas.
Students will also able to take advantage of numerous outdoor classroom spaces and inviting shared spaces such as a media center and expansive student commons.
The $53 million facility was built on the former Matera Field off Marin Avenue on a 5.4-acre parcel of land. The site offers spectacular views of the New York City skyline.
“(And) this new school building alleviates the overcrowding of students at our existing schools and will allow our students to grow way beyond expectations … which features a state-of-the-art classrooms. A culinary arts kitchen. Learning spaces. A media center. Multi-purpose rooms. A cafeteria. Auditorium. Security systems. Radio communications (for public safety) and new play fields,” Giangeruso said.
Designed by Di Cara Rubino Architects, the 145,000-square-foot school was made to accommodate up to 650 students for grades 6 to 8.
Some of the more notable features of the new school include a three story academic wing, a visual and performing arts theater and a full size gymnasium. Additional athletic amenities include an auxiliary gym, locker rooms, a weight room and a full-size synthetic turf athletic field with adjoining roller hockey rink.
The academic facilities include science labs, a state-of-the-art culinary arts facility and 27 active learning classrooms, many of which will be dedicated to instruction in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Technological amenities may be found all throughout the school, with classrooms boasting the latest AV and IT features, WiFi service and charging stations, and a massive video display screen made up of multiple LED monitors is located in the central student commons.
The school is “zoned,” so that when the gym needs to be open, let’s say, at night, the rest of the school does not need to open — thus extensively saving on power costs.
It’s a school so beautiful and extensive that it’s likely to make students at other schools jealous.
“When our Township of Lyndhurst stepped forward to fund the school, it reflected upon community partnership — a partnership of school administrators, parents, teachers and our local government,” the mayor said of the new school. “To quote, ‘Education is the passport to the future. And tomorrow is for those who prepare today.’
“Here we stand in this beautiful new school completed in time for the new school year, meeting the needs for today and keeping the promise of tomorrow. This new school is symbolic of a community that cares doing what’s needed for our children, our grandchildren and future generations.
“Our board of commissioners and board of education have very high standards — and we are working very hard to achieve them. We impress upon our students to enjoy the facility, to work hard for their ultimate success, but also, to be grateful for their new school, with the utmost respect and pride so as to preserve it in its best condition.
“This is more than just a great new elementary school. It represents a promise that Lyndhurst will do whatever it takes to give its children a quality education.”
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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.