Superintendent Carter clarifies, calms the district

Superintendent’s Letter to Citizens and Parents Regarding Connors School

Dear Citizens and Parents of Hoboken,

Within the past twenty or so hours, the air has been buzzing about a letter written to me by the Schools Development Authority, a governmental agency located in Trenton, New Jersey, about the status of the renovation of the Connors School. Let me state at the outset that the letter which bears my name and has been making the rounds throughout the area, has yet to be stamped into my office. In other words, I am still waiting to receive a letter which others have chosen to share, and to which reaction is occurring. I did intercept a copy of the letter as it was winding its way among fax machines and e-mail attachments and who knows what else, and then call the Authority in order to receive the “official” document which I did receive via e-mail at 2:50 p.m.

Here are the simple FACTS contained in the letter. “The New Jersey Schools Development Authority….is undertaking a review of the 2008 Capital Plan, in addition to project delivery.
We anticipate an accelerated process ….to complete this review.” The letter then goes on to say”…the fact that the design work for the project has not been finalized, the Connors Elementary School project will not advance to construction this June.” Quite simply, then, as I read the letter, the State is merely saying that the approval of the construction phase will be delayed. In essence, the design stage is continuing even to go so far as state that we plan to meet on this project with State officials tomorrow, Thursday. The letter further suggests that we can continue to utilize the Connors building until further notice. An administrative decision will be made on that issue in early June, once I speak in greater detail with the author of the letter.

I had the pleasure of speaking with the State Official who heads the S D A at this time, and we shall be speaking again next week. Stay tuned for the outcome of further discussion. In brief, then, on May 25th we hear for the first time about a letter from Trenton dated May 21st, which I have still not received via USPS (as of 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday).

Let me assure you, people of Hoboken, that your appointed and elected officials of the community are very concerned, and will be working very hard to obtain clarity with regard to the progress of our Connors School Project. My request is that we not react as a body politic at this time, to allow me the time and space that I need to properly respond to the letter of May 21st which begins, “Dear Mr. Carter.” May I also state unequivocally that this action is NOT aimed at Hoboken in particular, but is part of a review process by the Department of Education and the Schools Development Authority of all 59 new construction and rehabilitation projects.

Sincerely yours,
Peter E. Carter

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