The New Jersey Schools Development Authority (NJSDA) today announced the delivery of the new Sheila Y. Oliver Academy in East Orange, New Jersey.
This much needed educational facility was brought to completion for the 2020-2021 school year, providing additional facility and technology
resources for the students of East Orange during this unprecedented time.
“Through the delivery of the new Sheila Y. Oliver Academy, the SDA has provided East Orange
students with a facility that will position generations of students for academic success,” said
Governor Phil Murphy. “As an East Orange resident and highly respected public servant, it is fitting
that this innovative school is named after our Lieutenant Governor, Sheila Y. Oliver. This new
school stands for everything she represents as a public servant and will serve as a lasting legacy for
all of her contributions to East Orange and the State of New Jersey.”
“I’ve proudly lived in and served the East Orange community for over 40 years and I am deeply touched and humbled that this new school will carry my name,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. “Educational facilities must evolve and grow with ever-changing technological and societal demands and this new state of the art school was designed not just to meet the needs of students in today’s world but to be adaptable to the needs of the world to come. I thank Governor Murphy, the SDA, and the East Orange community for this great honor and I wish the Academy much success in serving and educating New Jersey’s future generations.”
The Kennedy Elementary School facility includes 20 general classrooms, two self-contained special education classrooms, as well as a cafetorium, gymnasium, outdoor play space and necessary support
spaces. Consistent with NJSDA standards, this school was delivered with 1:1 student-device technology, an educational necessity now more than ever before. The technology provided for students attending this school stands ready to support student learning as educators navigate these extraordinary times.
NJSDA’s important construction work was deemed essential throughout the ongoing pandemic in order to ensure that facilities such as this reached completion. The new Sheila Y. Oliver Academy was constructed to address Facilities Efficiency Standard (FES) Compliance needs in the East Orange School District. This facility represents a total state investment of $41 million, delivers 77,000 square-feet of new construction, and provides approximately 500 new seats for East Orange students in pre-Kindergarten to fifth grade.
“The NJSDA continues to be a leader in school construction, delivering high quality educational facilities in order to fulfill this Administration’s commitment to invest in the education of students in East Orange and throughout the State,” said NJSDA CEO Manuel Da Silva. “This school will provide generations of young scholars with the educational spaces and resources needed to learn, grow, and play. We thank the East Orange School District officials and legislative representatives for their partnership to bring this project to completion.”
The Sheila Y. Oliver Academy facility includes 24 general classrooms, two self-contained special education classrooms, a science lab, a cafeteria, a multi-purpose room with stage, a media center, a music room, an art room, a technology lab, and necessary support spaces. Consistent with NJSDA standards, this school was delivered with 1:1 student-device technology, an educational necessity needed now more than ever before. The technology provided for students attending this school stands ready to support student learning as educators navigate these extraordinary times.
As a result of SDA's commitment to building energy-efficient buildings that consider the surrounding environment, this school was built to be LEED (United States Green Building Council – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified. The SDA anticipates that the new Sheila Oliver Academy building will achieve a LEED Silver certification.
This new facility was constructed on the site of the former George Washington Carver Institute for Science and Technology. The school was built using a design-build approach. The design-build method differs from the traditional design-bid-build approach by allowing the SDA to contract with one firm for both design and construction of a school facilities project. Dobco, Inc. was the design-build contractor, and worked in partnership with NK Architects on the design. The project was managed by STV Construction, Inc.
This is the ninth capital project completed by the SDA in East Orange. Since the program’s inception, the SDA has invested more than $310 million in completed projects in East Orange alone.
About the New Jersey Schools Development Authority
The SDA is the State agency responsible for fully funding and managing the new construction, modernization and
renovation of school facilities projects in 31 SDA Districts. Its current portfolio of active projects is valued
at approximately $2 billion – including the Capital Project portfolio, emergent projects and Regular Operating
District grants. Since the program’s inception, the SDA has provided funding for and management oversight of more
than 850 completed school facilities projects in SDA Districts and has executed more than 5,400 grants for Regular
Operating Districts throughout the State of New Jersey. For more information about the SDA, please visit our
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