EDA approves $43M in Newark charter school projects

TRENTON – The New Jersey Economic Development Authority approved a pair of bond projects totaling $43 million Thursday that officials say demonstrate the administration’s support of charter schools in the state.

The EDA approved a pair of Newark charter school bond projects that will support the construction of new buildings and renovations on existing structures. The proposals cleared the EDA with nearly unanimous support with one member abstaining from both votes, citing a conflict of interest.

The board signed off on a $35 million school construction bond request from Newark’s Marion O. Thomas Charter School to help fund purchasing of property and constructing a 73,500-square-foot charter school. More than 760 students are enrolled in the school that operates out of two locations in Newark.

The new building is expected to initially serve middle school students and is expected to create nearly 150 construction jobs.

The EDA also approved an $8 million taxable qualified school construction bond request by Newark’s University Heights Charter School of Excellence Inc. to expand its school by acquiring and renovating a new facility.

The school serves more than 330 students, of whom about 90 percent come from low-income families and 100 percent are minorities, according to the EDA.

  EDA approves $43M in Newark charter school projects