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New Long Branch School Will Be Ready by September

LONG BRANCH: The George L. Catrambone School is still slated to be ready when students return to school in early September.

The 109,000 square-foot, two-story facility was designed to educate approximately 800 pre-kindergarten through fifth grade students and is being built on the site of the Elberon Elementary School on Park Avenue which was demolished in 2009.

One of the final steps of construction is to build a parking lot on the site. The Long Branch Board of Education (BOE) is getting a helping hand from the city for that portion of the project.

The area to the east of the school was originally a landfill 45-50 years ago, and because of some environmentally-contaminated land it created, the BOE was not allowed to build on the entire site, City Attorney James Aaron said.

Aaron said the city agreed to take on the environmentally-contaminated portion of the property so the project could move forward.

"The BOE has now worked out an agreement with DEP (New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection) so it can use the land for a parking lot only," Aaron said. "The environmental contamination is capped. They will line it, they will stripe it, they will maintain it, they will take care of the DEP approvals."

He said the land will be sold to the BOE for $1 and at least 75 spaces will be built.

Long Branch Business Administrator Howard Woolley said the parking lot can also be used for one of the city's parks in the area, Elberon Park. 

"The parking will also support our park, because when we have soccer tournaments and things of that nature, people park all over the street," Woolley said. "There is a soccer festival there in September and it's mobbed down there."

Aaron said the paving should be done in August in time for the school's opening in September.

A resolution transferring the title for the property will likely be passed by council on July 22 meeting. 

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