PARAMUS As Metropolitan Schechter faced uncertainty heading into the new school year, The Frisch School spent this week moving into its new building on West Century Road and getting ready for the school year to begin on Thursday, Sept. 6.
With an expected student body of 653, the move to the 130,000 square-foot facility on 14 acres just ‘ miles from the school’s old location is a sign of the co-ed yeshiva’s continued growth, said Frisch administrators.
The new Frisch building on Century Road will open for the first day of school. Gym ViewPhoto courtesy of the FRISCH SCHOOL
"We outgrew our old building long ago," said Principal Kalman Stein.
This year’s freshman class numbers 165, which Stein said is "a tad larger than usual," but, he added, the faculty made a conscious effort not to allow the student size to grow too much from last year’s size, which was only a handful more than the school has enrolled now. The new building, which Frisch bought from Hewlett Packard, has a capacity of about 880 students. Ideally, Stein would like to see the school grow to about 775 students.
"We wanted to come comfortably into the building and then allow the growth to happen once we moved in," Stein said. "We would like to see the size of our ninth grade growing slowly over the next few years."
The building has 34 classrooms, six state-of-the-art science labs, a 100-seat bet midrash, a ‘0,000 square-foot gym, and an activities center for student publications including the newspaper, yearbook, and Torah journals.
"We’ll be able to maximize everything that we’ve previously had," said the school’s assistant principal, Rabbi Eli Ciner.
Athletics also get a boost on the campus with a softball field, running track, two tennis courts, and an outdoor basketball court.
With the additional fields, Frisch will be able to offer intramural sports to its students, which will create more outlets for students who want to play competitive sports, Ciner said.
Another new feature is a conference room that will enable student organizations to hold meetings in a central area instead of moving from classroom to classroom as in the old building. The room also offers computer resources as well as a fax machine and copier.
"Students involved in charitable works or social action programs can meet around a conference table," Ciner said. "This will be somewhat of a model of what they’ll be doing later in life on college campuses or as leaders of their communities."
Frisch’s old building on at ’43 Frisch Ave. has not yet been sold. Yavneh Academy had announced in ‘004 that it would buy the building for $1’.9 million once Frisch moved. But construction delays pushed Frisch’s move from January to this summer, and Yavneh allowed the option to buy to expire, choosing to remain in its Farview Avenue building.
Frisch has a number of parties interested in the old building, said its executive director Elaine Weitzman.
To finance its move, the school began a capital campaign two years ago to reach a goal of $18 million. More than 100 families have pledged donations, and the campaign has passed the halfway mark, Weitzman said, although she declined to give an exact figure.
Weitzman expected contractors to completely turn over the building to Frisch by the end of the week, allowing it to start school on time.
"We’re extremely excited to be moving into this new facility," she said. "What we do at Frisch could happen in a beautiful building and it could happen in a tent. To have a facility like this is really a blessing."