INCOMPETENCE WATCH: Now the BOE is hiring a Middle School principal as Commissioners keep building unnecessary over-budget Jr. High School instead
TEN MONTHS AGO, THE STATE MONITOR, TOM EGAN, TOLD LYNDHURST COMMISSIONERS THAT THEY WERE WASTING $57.5 MILLION BUILDING AN OVER-BUDGET 7 TO 9 GRADE JR. HIGH SCHOOL AND NEEDED TO MAKE CHANGES
READ NEWS REPORT: The State Department of Education monitor called the Lyndhurst school plan a ‘disaster’, saying the Jr. High School should be changed to a Middle School
Nicholas Katzban, North Jersey Record 3:51 p.m. ET Jan. 18, 2019
LYNDHURST — A monitor with the state Education Department offered a sobering analysis to township commissioners Thursday. A 2016 school referendum, he said, was not only mismanaged, but sold voters on a project cost that was millions less than former school officials knew to expect.
“I found a disaster,” said Tom Egan, a monitor sent to Lyndhurst by the state Department of Education to examine the cause of a near $5 million deficit.
While the 2016 referendum, which issued $19.8 million in bonds to finance upgrades to the high school and four elementary schools, plays no part in the deficit, Egan said he could not help but take note of the glaring oversight in its projections.
He and architect Joe DiCara told the commission at least $24.5 million would be needed to complete the project based on the plans that were sent to the DOE. Egan called the project “overcreated and underfunded.”
However, the report was not all grim. The remaining $14.8 million would be enough to complete all necessary work, Egan and DiCara said, if the 2016 plans were scaled back by “30 percent in scope,” but also if the new junior high school is designed as a “true middle school.”
With support from the Superintendent, district business administrator and the school board president, Egan and DiCara told the township that if the new building serves Grades 6-8, they could ease the burden on their elementary buildings and reap educational benefits as well.
And the commission unanimously agreed.
“Ninth grade belongs in the high school for social reasons,” Commissioner Karen Haggerty said. “They do not belong with sixth and seventh graders.”
Read below the full North Jersey Record story linked here:
EIGHT MONTHS LATER, ON SEPTEMBER 10, 2019, THE JR. HS’s “PROJECT MANAGER”, BOB BENECKE, TOLD THE COMMISSIONERS THAT NOTHING HAS BEEN CHANGED AND THAT LYNDHURST TOWNSHIP IS STILL BUILDING A $57.5 MILLION JR. HS
Read below the officials minutes of the September 10, 2019 Board of Commissioners meeting that we’re taken during the Mayor and Commissioners’ tour of the still under construction $57.5 million building being built as a Jr. High School; even though because of fiscal mismanagement it was supposed to be scaled back to a Middle School
NOW TOMKO & TOMKO ASSOCIATES, A PRIVATE CONSULTING FIRM, HAS BEEN HIRED BY STATE MONITOR TOM EGAN TO FIND A NEW MIDDLE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL BY JANUARY 2020, FOR A NEW SCHOOL THE COMMISSIONERS ARE STILL BUILDING TO BE A JR. HS, INCLUDING A STATE-OF-THE-ART CULINARY FACILITY THAT CANNOT BE USED BECAUSE THE CURRENT LHS LACKS ONE
See below the Tomko & Tomko Associates website and the job posting by Tomko & Tomko for a Lyndhurst Middle School Principal linked here: