APRIL 25, 2017 - The Board of Trustees of the Red Bank Charter School today approved a purchase agreement for a building that will allow the school to better support its academic and extracurricular activities.
The building, located at 135 Monmouth Street directly behind the existing school, has a large warehouse that will be converted into a gym. RBCS currently leases space in the building for its Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) lab.
“We’re excited for RBCS to have a basic element of a school that we’ve had to do without over the years,” said RBCS Principal Meredith Pennotti. “For the first time in RBCS history, we will have something that nearly every elementary school in New Jersey has – a gymnasium.”
Pennotti said RCBS also has the potential to create space for an art room and a performing arts space.Pennotti said families were asked at the beginning of the year their thoughts about what RCBS needed most and the consensus was the school needed additional space, particularly a gym.
“Purchasing this building is a prudent financial move for the RBCS,” said Roger Foss, the chair of the board. “As a charter school, we do not receive any funding from the state for facilities,” Foss said. “Unlike district schools, we cannot go to taxpayers with a referendum seeking capital dollars. We have been frugal in managing our money over many years, hoping for an opportunity like the one that presented itself to us with this building.”
There is no connection between the purchase of this building and an expansion of student enrollment, Pennotti said. Instead, it’s designed to benefit RBCS current students, who do not have a gym and must travel to other facilities for sports, physical education and other activities and allow for program growth.
RCBS will pay for the building from a combination of operating income, a mortgage, revenues from spaces leased to existing tenants in the buildings, and savings from not having to rent outside facilities.RBCS also plans a robust fundraising campaign with the help of its foundation and CCO to cover the cost of renovations.
Founded in 1997 as one of the first charter schools in the state, RBCS has been and continues to be an ethnically and racially integrated preK-8 school with 200 students and families. RCBS’s has a lengthy waiting, evidence of the community’s interest in having a charter school option.
“It’s a rare opportunity to have been able to find property right behind our building,” Pennotti said. “The stars have aligned with the availability of the building and both our parents and the board endorsing facility growth. Now is the time. We are moving forward with confidence.”