KEANSBURG, NJ – Committed to the advancement of capital projects around the state, Christie Administration officials were on hand to announce the demolition of the Caruso Elementary School to make room for a future new facility.

The Caruso Elementary School Project was selected for advancement as part of the Schools Development Authority’s (SDA) 2012 Capital Portfolio announced by the Governor in March 2012.


The original 58,000 square-foot Joseph C. Caruso Elementary School is being demolished to provide a 3.15 acre site for a new facility. An additional property located near the school, commonly referred to as the VFW site, was also acquired by the SDA to provide for play space and parking. A vacant and deteriorated 9,000 square foot building that stood on the VFW site was also demolished as part of this project.

“The SDA is excited to continue to advance work on Capital projects throughout the state, such as the Caruso Elementary School,” said CEO Marc Larkins. “The demolition of the former structure will allow us to prepare the site for the future construction of a new school that has been proposed as a result of the cooperative efforts of the SDA, NJ Department of Education (DOE) and Keansburg school district officials.”

The existing Joseph C. Caruso Elementary School was built in 1921. Due to its poor condition, including roof leaks, mold, and significant deficiencies in mechanical, life safety and functionality, a decision was made to relocate its students to temporary educational facilities rather than undertake repairs at a prohibitive cost.

As a result of this ongoing collaboration with the district, a preliminary project charter will be brought before the SDA Board tomorrow.  Pending board approval, the proposed charter includes construction of a new Caruso Elementary School that will provide an additional 736 seats for students in grades kindergarten through fourth. The charter estimates the advertisement of the design-build project in the second quarter of 2013 and a projected completion date for the 2016-2017 school year. 

Tricon Enterprises, Inc. of Keyport was awarded a $870,000 general construction contract to perform demolition, removal of known underground structures, removal of sub-surface foundations, and infill of the site following completion of the demolition. The demolition of the VFW building was completed in July 2012. Tricon commenced demolition of the Caruso Elementary School this past week. All demolition and associated site work is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.

The SDA’s current portfolio of active projects is valued at over $2 billion – including the 2011 and 2012 Capital Project portfolios (more than $1 billion), additional projects in construction ($86 million), emergent projects ($43 million) and Regular Operating District grants ($743 million state share).