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Construction begins on new P'burg HS -- again

By Bo Koltnow, Reporter, BKoltnow@wfmz.com
Published On: May 06 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: May 08 2013 05:59:49 AM CDT

As New Jersey mom Carrie Korski sees her daughter off to school she's skeptical she'll ever see a new Phillipsburg High School.

PHILLIPSBURG, N.J. -

As New Jersey mom Carrie Korski sees her daughter off to school she's skeptical she'll ever see a new Phillipsburg High School.

"I've been here 10 years and I haven't seen any progress on it," Korski said.

Looking at the current site of the future school in Warren County -- which is covered with weeds -- you get an idea of what Carrie is talking about.

"This is a great day for the Phillipsburg School District," District Superintendent George Chando said at a podium Tuesday.

The latest cause for celebration by the district and the New Jersey's School Development Authority is an $80 million construction contract.

"We're very confident the awarding of this contract will ultimately bring about the construction, beginning sometime in early September," Chando said.

But if this seems like déjà vu -- it is.

In the fall of 2009 then-Governor Jon Corzine, in the midst of a re-election campaign, was in Phillipsburg with plenty of pomp and circumstance.

The goal? To celebrate the first school groundbreaking and a fall 2013 target date.

The difference today? CEO of the School Development Authority Marc Larkins said in 2009, the celebration was for site preparation only, while this contract is to actually build the building.

"What happened four years ago was a little out of the ordinary for the organization. It was a different administration, different times," Larkins said.

However, moms like Carrie will continue to be skeptical until a new school is built.

"I would love to see it happen but right now on the fence," she said.

The scope of the school -- which is expected to open in the fall of 2016 -- has been scaled back.

Its total cost is around $110 million.