TOMS RIVER – Ocean County is going to build a performing arts high school.
The $26.7 million project is planned for the campus of Ocean County College in Toms River with an anticipated 2019 opening, the Board of Freeholders announced Wednesday at an agenda meeting.
Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari said the proposed 53,000-square foot building will be financed through a partnership between the state of New Jersey, the county government, the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation, and the county college.
When completed, the operation of the school will be administered by the Ocean County Vocational Technical School system. However, the students who attend the school will be eligible to take the required course work necessary to graduate from high school with both a diploma and an associate degree from the county college, Vicari explained.
The vocational school’s current performing arts academy is located inside historic Hangar One at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst…
…(T)he Grunin foundation…has invested more than $12 million in philanthropic projects in the Toms River area (since 2013), with a primary focus on the arts.
OCC President Jon H. Larson said the future students of the performing arts school will be able to cut the cost of their college tuition in half by earning an associate degree at the two-year college at the same time they earn their high school diploma…
William P. Hoey, Jr., superintendent of the vocational school system, said the partnership with the county college went beyond a planned building on its campus.
“We’re also going to be sharing additional classroom space at the college,” Hoey said. “We’ll be using the student center; our kids will be using the library, the gymnasium, the ball fields and all of that exists so the county is not having to put in additional dollars to add that to a (new) high school.”