“I’ve never seen something so grandiose,” said Coach Joe Rotundi last week regarding Union City High School. Though the school opened for the new academic year in early September, it was on Sept. 25 when Union City Mayor Brian Stack hosted an opening day ceremonial event that included dignitaries such as Gov. Jon Corzine, Sen. Robert Menendez, Congressman Albio Sires, and Schools Development Authority Chief Executive Officer Kris Kolluri. And this weekend, the school, which combined Emerson and Union Hill high schools into a new building, was open to the public on Saturday for tours of the facilities.
The band played “Oye Como Va.”
Also to be included as part of the building is a state-of-the-art auditorium with advanced lighting controls, new Mac computers, electronic classroom boards known as SMART boards, automated no-touch sinks in the bathrooms, and a community health center that is a part of the North Hudson Community Action Corporation.
“For the past seven years, our students have achieved and sustained a high level of educational excellence,” said Superintendent of Schools Stanley Sanger, “and with this beautiful new school, we now have the resources to accomplish even more in the future.”
The next day, Sept.26, was the school’s grand opening gala event. School Business Administrator Anthony Dragona said the event brought in nearly 450 guests that included celebrities such as NFL Hall of Famer and NY Giant Harry Carson, who shared a few words about the importance of an education in his life; Union Hill graduate Bobby Cannovale, an actor; and Tito Puente Jr.
“When Tito was joined on stage by the Union City High School band drum line for a version of ‘Oye Como Va,’ the crowd was on their feet and remained standing until the concert ended,” said Dragona. “I have to thank Katie Kirby, Stacey Rennie, and Mayerlin Ng for their dedication, commitment, understanding, patience and perseverance in coordinating such a successful event.”
On Saturday, the city was scheduled to host a day-long “Community Day” that included international musical artists.
For more information on Union City High School, visit their new website at: http://www.union-city.k12.nj.us/schools/uchs/uchs/index.php.
Melissa Rappaport may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org