Gloucester City BOE To Alter Traffic Patterns

Photo by Anne Forline Construction continues on the new middle school.
Construction continues on the new middle school.

With the opening of the middle school now two years out, Gloucester City School Superintendent, Joe Rafferty, indicated that he wants to alter traffic patterns in that area.

The district is looking into making Fifth and Sixth Streets one way “sooner rather than later,” Rafferty said during last week’s Gloucester City Board of Education (BOE) meeting.

“We would like to put a traffic light at the foot of Atlantic and Market Streets, but since Market Street is a county road, we have to approach the county about that.”

Rafferty also said that he spoke with the mayor about “giving back” Cold Springs Drive to the city because it had been abated to the district when Cold Springs School was built, and they discussed if the City would be interested in acquiring the Mary Ethel Costello and Highland Park schools.
The School District will be providing the mayor’s office with reports about the buildings.

He noted that in mid-July, the district had received determination letters from the New Jersey Department of Education Office of School Facilities that formally approved the district’s request to close Highland Park School and to dispose of the land on Highland Boulevard.

The district wants to dispose of the property in order to reduce liabilities and costs to upkeep this vacant school facility.

According to information previously provided by the BOE, the Highland Park School facility and land were acquired by a transfer to the school district on January 20, 1915 from P.A. Stewart Co. for consideration in the amount of $1.

The Highland Park School building was closed by Board Resolution dated June 14, 2011. Students and programs were relocated to the Gloucester City Junior/Senior High School in July, 2011.

In other matters. Rafferty acknowledged the district’s transition from becoming a busing district to a non-busing district. He noted a “sense of community” now that all of the children are being dropped off at school.

Board member, Jackie Borger, commented “There are a lot of children” and spoke of the need for more crossing guards.

During the business portion of the meeting, all items on the BOE’s agenda were approved.

The BOE introduced a refunding bond ordinance for School Refund Bonds Series 2005 in the aggregate principal amount of $3,495,000.

Business Administrator, Margaret McDonnell, said that the school district is refinancing (or refunding) a previously issued bond for interest savings.

The BOE approved a contract with Kennedy Health Systems for the 2015-16 school year for drug testing for the following amounts: service fee $50, medical examination $87, alcohol drug assessment $50, urine alcohol/drug screen $90, LSD urine $80, ecstasy $271, mescaline (psychedelic) $200, methadone screen $20, anabolic steroid $175, oxycodone $35.

The BOE approved non-public technology purchases for Gloucester Catholic for the 2016 school year for in the amount of $8,610.56 and Total Video in the amount of $6,790.

The following contracts were approved for the 2015-16 school year: Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech at $175 per hour not to exceed $4,000 and Discovery Education in the amount of $3,150 for non-public technology to be funded through NCLB Title I non-public.

An agreement with A.A. Duckett, Inc. for HVAC work for Cold Springs School was approved for $9,348 annually.

A transportation jointure contract was approved between the GCSD and the Brooklawn School District in the amount of $11,668.02 for transporting students to the Camden County Vocational Technical School in Sicklerville.

The BOE will meet again on Thursday, October 8 at 7:00 pm for its caucus meeting. The BOE’s regular meeting and public hearing on the Refunding Bond Ordinance will take place on Tuesday, October 13 at 7:00 pm in the GHS Media Center.

*Article originally appeared in the September 17, 21015 edition of the Gloucester City News.