September 2010 Archives

A Memorable Stone Bridge Dedication

This past weekend (Sept. 25th), our school building was officially dedicated! It was a day of celebration that memorialized the opening of this wonderful facility - a facility that was built for our students, teachers and community members. We can't thank the community enough for coming out to the dedication and being a part of history.

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The day was highlighted by the presence of multiple guests and about 200 community members. In particular, we were honored to have Alaina Stampe (6th grade student - Alaina's essay - SBMS Essay.pdf) and Hope Narozniak (7th grade student - Hope's essay - Our Future Is So Bright We Have To Wear Shades.pdf) give their thoughts about the significance that this building will have on our students now and in the future. Both of their essays, along with the essays of Adriana Amaro (7th grade student) and Evan Wireman (5th grade student), will be placed in a time capsule that will be sealed for 100 years!

cornerstone.JPGStone Bridge Middle School was also honored to have Mary Clark share the historical significance - Stone Bridge - The Name.pdf - of the Stone Bridge name with our guests. After listening to multiple speakers, seeing past district administrators, and recognizing the true significance of this building...everyone was excited to be a part of this terrific experience.

Thanks to everyone who attended and those of you who sent your well wishes!

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SBMS Upcoming Dates to Remember

The year is off to a fantastic start! The energy that our kids have brought to this new building is inspiring! Want some of that inspiration? Here are some upcoming dates to remember:

  • September 25th (Saturday) @ 11:00 a.m. - Stone Bridge Middle School Dedication
  • September 30th (Thursday) - School Photos
  • October 22nd (Friday) @ 7:00 p.m. - AHS football field - The Redbird Rumble - Students and faculty compete in a flag football tournament.
  • November 15th (Monday) @ 9:00 a.m. - Stand UNited Against Bullying Student Kick-Off - w/ guest speaker, Dr. Michael Fowlin! All are invited to attend.
SUn Logo.pngAs more opportunities to be inspired come up we will be sure to post/tweet them.


ALLENTOWN: Bridge to the future
Stone Bridge Middle School readies to open
Thursday, September 2, 2010 1:07 AM EDT
By Joanne Degnan, Staff Writer

   ALLENTOWN -- Parents, grandparents, children and the simply curious
eagerly toured the new Stone Bridge Middle School last week to see the
$51.5 million project that will give the Upper Freehold Regional School
District some much-needed breathing room when it opens Sept. 13.

   Approximately 565 district students in grades five through eight
will be educated at Stone Bridge when it opens later this month, greatly
reducing overcrowding at the elementary school building where last year
1,264 children in grades K-8 were shoe-horned into a facility built for
600.

   At open houses on Aug. 26 and 27, the community got a sneak peek
inside the new 180,000-square-foot middle school, where hundreds of
large windows flood the 42 classrooms, hallways and atriums with natural
sunlight. There also is a 622-seat auditorium with its own sound and
light system, a TV studio, two art rooms (including one with potter's
wheels and kiln), a large gymnasium with polished wooden floors and
bleachers, a smaller auxiliary gym, a band room, a choral room, a
library/media center and adjoining computer lab.

   "Welcome, Welcome! How do you like it?" Superintendent of
Schools Dick Fitzpatrick could be heard asking everyone he encountered
Friday as he walked the freshly painted halls. Visitors repeated the
same enthusiastic one-word response again and again: "Wow!"

   Stone Bridge's four grade levels each has its own wing of
classrooms, all of which are equipped with interactive SMART boards.
Each wing also has a separate science lab, science prep room, and boys
and girls bathrooms.
   "The concept is schools within a school, that is each grade level
has its own pod, its own area," Dr. Fitzpatrick said.

   The fifth- and sixth-grade wings are on the first-floor, and the
seventh- and eighth-graders occupy the second floor.

   "I told the eighth-graders that they are up on the second floor
for this reason: I want everybody else in the building to look up to you
as role models," Dr. Fitzpatrick said.

   In the cafeteria, the stainless steel in the kitchen area is
polished to a squint-inducing shine. The dining area's back wall has
floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto acres of meadows and woods
behind the school.

   Stone Bridge also is a model of energy-saving green technology that
can be incorporated into science lessons. Photovoltaic panels for
producing solar energy are installed on the rooftop, and a geothermal
HVAC system made possible by 192 wells located beneath the back athletic
fields will heat and cool the building.

   At the Friday open house, Princi
pal Mark Guterl stood in the atrium
greeting visitors and pointing out the school's symbol on the terrazzo
flooring beneath his feet. The terrazzo inlays form a directionally
accurate compass rose, one of several on floors throughout the building
that are meant to remind students that their mission as middle school
students is to find their "true north" academically, morally,
socially and personally, Mr. Guterl said.

   The intricate inlay work on the true-north compasses was done at no
extra charge to the district by an 82-year-old terrazzo artisan and his
nephews who said they wanted to showcase their craftsmanship in a
building that will last well into the next century, Dr. Fitzpatrick
said.

   Dr. Fitzpatrick says Stone Bridge is a school planned with future
growth in mind. Although built for up to 875 students, the building
could hold up to 1,050 children in the decades ahead if art, technology
and other large rooms are converted into classroom space to accommodate
future enrollment.

   Designed by the Trenton-based architectural firm Faridy, Veisz and
Fraytak, Stone Bridge Middle School benefited from the recent slowdown
in the construction industry that produced more competitive bidding. The
lower bids enabled the district to add eight classrooms to the building
without going over budget, Dr. Fitzpatrick said.

   Although the actual construction took less than two years, planning
did not go as smoothly.

   Voters in 2004 approved spending $38.3 million for a new middle
school that was supposed to be built on Ellisdale Road. The project was
to be paid for with $5.7 million in state grant money and $32.6 million
in locally financed bonds, according to Business Administrator Diana
Schiraldi.

   But problems with soil remediation and wastewater management at the
Ellisdale Road site forced the district to go back to the voters again
in 2007 for an additional $13.2 million so that the school could be
built instead at its current location at 1252 Yardville-Allentown Road.

   The opening of Stone Bridge frees up space at the elementary school,
which means the district will no longer have to spend about $37,000 a
year to rent the Robbinsville Field House so that all UFRSD children can
take physical education classes, Dr. Fitzpatrick said.

   In addition, the district will not need to rent three classrooms at
a cost of $45,000 a year from Millstone for the UFRSD integrated
preschool program, he said. Upper Freehold Regional will now have the
space for the program, he said.

   Deliveries of furniture and supplies are scheduled to be staggered
throughout the week at Stone Bridge to allow for cleaning the building
and the last phases of the contracted work to finish up, Dr. Fitzpatrick
said. The building already has received its temporary certificate of
occupancy, he said.

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