After 39 years at our current location, Link is moving on–a bitter sweet transition. While the building Link has called home for so long has contributed to a strong independent middle school that led the way in education reform, its awkwardly configured and hidden areas hold limitations on our school’s future. Therefore, a few years ago, the Link Board of Trustees set out to identify an inspiring space for the next 40 plus years. Committed to remaining in the Central Ward that gave rise to Link Community School, the board found a stately school building at 23 Pennsylvania Avenue in Newark, squarely positioned in a neighborhood.
It is easy to see what drew the school’s leadership to the building. “It looks and feels like a school,” affirmed virtually every member of the Board and staff. With its impressive and centralized entrance, long and wide corridors, extensive natural light, large classrooms, separate cafeteria and auditorium/gymnasium, and ample rooms, the new school building delivers a space that inspires and supports learning with opportunities for future program growth. “The building has great bones,” shares Maria Pilar Paradiso, head of school, “enabling us to shape a space that suits Link’s unique independent middle school program.” Central to Link’s success in preparing students for success in high school and beyond are community spaces that help support the personal development of our students, as well as well-defined instructional spaces that arm students with the skills and knowledge needed to compete in today’s sophisticated learning environments and contribute to their neighborhoods.
Working with DiCara Rubino Architects, a Wayne-based firm with extensive school design and construction experience, Link will create specialty areas to ensure delivery of a well-rounded and challenging academic and personal development program. Plans are underway to update traditional classrooms and the gymnasium/auditorium, as well as create a science lab with adjoining science classrooms, a main office, art and music rooms, and a media center/library. Fundraising for these renovations is already underway.
We are looking forward to welcoming our students into our new home upon their return from winter break in January. It will be a space that nurtures and challenges, offering endless possibilities for student and school growth. Stay tuned…