|Photo taken in an active classroom at Trenton Central High School. Gallery
Mold spores growing on walls and window sills...ceiling tiles falling on students...crumbling walls...rain pouring through ceilings...buckled floors...and urine leaking into classrooms from compromised plumbing...Welcome to Trenton Central High School.
Sen. Barbara Buono joined members of the Trenton Education Association, administrators, parents, and community members to draw attention to the deplorable conditions at what was once a grand building with architectural columns, wood floors, and Lenox chandeliers.
“I’ve been in prisons that look better than this school,” said Buono. This a unacceptable for our students, our teachers, our staff, and our administrators. This is a crisis that needs to be taken care of now – tomorrow is too late.”
Last month, the school district was forced to condemn the school auditorium of the 81-year-old building after a crack was discovered in the concrete slab floor making it unstable and unsafe for use. As a result, no student plays, musicals, concerts, or performances can take place at the school.
The Trenton School Board recently filed a lawsuit demanding that the New Jersey Schools Development Authority (SDA) expedite repairs. In 2008, the SDA proposed a $150 million project to renovate of replace the high school, but Gov. Chris Christie took the project off the table when he took office in 2010 and appointed Marc Larkins as CEO.
The governor was recently invited to tour the facility, but has refused, saying,” Marc Larkins is the head of the Schools Development Authority who is responsible for those things.” He added, “I see no reason for me to go and visit it in person.”
In contrast, gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono joined the tour of the building on Thursday afternoon along with Sen. Shirley Turner, Asm. Reed Gusciora, and Asw. Bonnie Watson Coleman. If elected governor, she vowed to restore funding to the SDA to fix Trenton Central High School.
“We are thankful Sen. Buono and is taking the time to see these deplorable conditions for themselves,” said Trenton Education Association President Naomi Johnson-LaFleur. “It is an outrage that anyone would withhold the funds necessary to keep our students and school employees safe. Trenton deserves better.”