North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos Jr. joined Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, Gov. Chris Christie, state Sen. M. Teresa Ruiz and Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo to cut a ribbon to mark the ceremonial opening of the Elliott Street School.
The 138,000 square foot state-of-the-art K-8 school replaces the original school, which was demolished after it was struck by lightening and caught fire in 2006. Since then, students have been attending school in other buildings, last in a building on First Avenue.
"I have many good memories of the old school," said Ramos, who attended Elliot Street School as a child growing up in the North Ward.
Elliott Street is the third new school to open in the North Ward since Ramos took office in 2006. The other two to open were First Avenue School and Park Elementary.
Ramos, who spoke at the ribbon cutting, recalled that the fire struck just a few months after he was elected into office as a councilman. He took the lead in helping find a temporary location at Our Lady of Good Counsel.
"I commend the principal, staff, parents and children for dealing with the many challenges that arose during the last decade while the new school was being planned and built," Ramos said.
Ramos thanked state Sen. M. Teresa Ruiz, who represents the North Ward in the state Legislature, for working with local advocacy groups to make the new Elliott Street school a reality.
The $46.7 million school was funded through the New Jersey Schools Development Authority.