Trenton Breaks, New Brunswick Takes

As the NJ Schools Development Authority reels from damning coverage of its profligacy in spending $5.7 billion to build 61 schools (see here for example from “In the Lobby”), Sen. Donald Norcross will hold a meeting of the School Facilities and Construction subcommittee at crumbling Trenton Central High School. Part of the agenda, according to Politicker NJ, is to examine how the SDA left TCHS off the list of schools designated for repair.

A recent article in the Trenton Times described a culinary arts classroom within the decaying Trenton landmark where “layer of ceiling had succumbed to rainwater from a leaky drain, spraying a wet mess of paint and plaster chips all over the floor.” (See here for pix.) For contrast, consider New Brunswick High School, funded by the SDA at $180 million, that houses (according to the Star Ledger) a “full, restaurant-style kitchen designed by a professional chef” with “deep rows of gleaming utensils and baking equipment filled with leftover cream puffs and eclairs.”

(In all fairness, part of the delay in repairing/replacing Trenton Central High is no doubt due to its status as a historic building. See here.)

It’s wonderful that aspiring Bobby Flays in New Brunswick have access to what the Star-Ledger describes as “bling.” Not so wonderful that kids in Trenton may need to wear masks to guard against asbestos leaking from pipes. Is there some middle ground amongst the wreckage? A little sharing of the wealth maybe?