Golda Och Academy is proud to announce the completion of Phase I of the renovation project at the Wilf Lower School Campus.
"We set out to design the ideal elementary school that would extend and enhance our unique general and Judaic studies curriculum and part of the dream is now a reality," said Lower School Principal Gloria Kron. "Walking down the hallway of our newly renovated second floor gives us a glimpse into what lies in store for our Lower School facility when the entire project is completed. It all contributes to achieving an optimal educational environment that is brighter, more welcoming, accessible, and more technologically advanced."
Updates include the renovation of second floor classrooms and hallways, including the addition of two glass wall rooms. Teachers are able to supervise students as they work in break-out groups on the outside carpet. All classrooms were updated and are wired for Internet, and wireless capability exists throughout the building. New lighting, flooring, and HVAC system were also added.
Prior to the renovation, the GOA gym doubled as a lunchroom. A new separate cafeteria features a multi-colored floor and a wall made of windows, allowing for maximum natural light. The new cafeteria also provides utilization of the gym at the same time as eating and socializing. A new art lobby area outside the art room highlights and showcases our arts program.
Michele Landau, Building on Tradition Campaign Co-Chair, said she is overwhelmed by the GOA community’s commitment to the school.
"The completion of Phase I of the Lower School renovation project is a reflection of the dedication of our families and lead donors for Jewish education," she said. "As we walk the halls of the new cafeteria and newly transformed second floor it is clear that the high quality of our students' education will be further enriched by the environment in which they will learn."
Marc Kramer, Lower School Building Committee Chair, said he has received positive feedback from current GOA families.
"After much hard work and anticipation, we are very excited about the completion of Phase I of the Lower School renovation," he said. "Our new and improved Lower School has been getting rave reviews, and our students are already benefitting from this new, state-of-the-art facility. We are now focusing our attention on the new addition to the Lower School which will dramatically enhance our educational facilities and will ensure that our Wilf Lower School Campus will be second to none for years to come."
Phase II of the project will focus on the new two story 20,000 sq. ft. addition that is well underway. The addition includes a new main lobby, Beit Knesset (sanctuary), new library, music studio, a state-of-the-art science lab with outdoor garden space and science discovery area, and a new technology lab. The renovation also includes construction of a new glass atrium that will function as the bus drop-off lobby.
A generous grant from the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey will help GOA fund a major part of the accessibility portion of the capital renovation project that will make the school better able to serve individuals with physical disabilities and mobility issues. The project includes an elevator, ramps, and lifts.
"We are so grateful to the Healthcare Foundation for their partnership with us to ensure that our school can be accessible to people with mobility issues," said Stephanie Bash-Soudry, Director of Development and Alumni Relations at Golda Och Academy.
"The implementation of this special Wilf Lower School Accessibility Project not only will help future students and others, but is also consistent with what we teach at our school and will provide an invaluable ethical and moral lesson to our children."
Karen Spector, Lower School Admissions Director, said prospective families also are excited about the changes at the Wilf Lower School Campus.
"The beautifully renovated second floor of the current building and the brand new cafeteria give them a taste of what they can expect when they enroll their children at Golda Och Academy," Ms. Spector said. "It’s a bright, modern facility that’s both beautiful and supportive of the cutting-edge education that our students receive. Families have always been ‘wowed’ by what they’ve seen within our campus walls, now they can feel the same way about the campus itself, as it truly reflects who we are."
The Lower School renovation is part of the school’s Building on Tradition Campaign, which has a three-pronged focus: tuition assistance, academic excellence, and capital improvements. All gifts to this campaign will be matched through the generosity of the Dan and Jane Och Foundation up to $15M.
To find out more about Golda Och Academy and the Lower School renovation project, please contact the Office of Admissions, 973-602-3601 or Admissions@GoldaOchAcademy.org. Golda Och Academy offers multiple entry points through the GO Connect program for students with no prior day school background.