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Orthodox girls school OK’d in Lakewood

Local News | Jun 25, 2014

Orthodox girls school OK’d in Lakewood

The controversial Orthodox girl’s high school that was rejected by Jackson was unanimously approved for a new location: the industrial park in Lakewood.

On Tuesday, the Lakewood Township Planning Board approved a proposal to locate Oros Bais Yaakov on Rutgers Boulevard.

Unlike in Jackson, where proponents needed to clear a more complex legal hurdle to obtain approval because of the site’s residential zoning, an all-girls school is a permitted use amongst the businesses in the Lakewood location.

The 3-acre property in Lakewood is not even half the size of the 7.5-acre parcel in Jackson, where zoning officials questioned whether the site would be large enough for a school of 400 students.

It is unclear from the plans filed with Lakewood how many students would attend the high school — architectural drawings show 16 classrooms, four computer labs, a dining room and several small tutoring spaces.

The school currently has 230 students, and looks to enroll as many as 400 at the Rutgers Boulevard site, Flannery testified.

Should the site become a school, its owners would have the option of seeking an exemption from having to pay property taxes, township officials said.

Most of Lakewood’s private schools are Orthodox religious centers, a reflection of the township’s growing Jewish population. In 2009, more than half of its residents were Jewish, according to a survey by the University of Miami and the University of Connecticut.