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from Senator Jon S. Corzine

from Environmental Protection Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell


Sign a Petition to Investigate Improprieties in the Illegal Demolition of the Ohio Avenue School (CLICK), and to
Ohio Avenue School

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Gwen Goodwin Writes New Jersey State Senate President Richard Codey

Dear Senate President Codey,

Note the blackboard hanging off the side of the school. One can also see furniture still in the school also being crushed. Click HERE or on image to see enlargement.
I am writing to you today because I feel like I must express to you both my admiration for you and my deep disappointment.

First let me tell you I feel in the short time you served NJ, you have had some great achievements. Thank you for putting a moratorium on the death penalty and banning smoking in most public places.

These two issues alone are huge.

In addition, I want to thank you for not only paying more attention to mental health but for taking up for your wife when the radio disc jockey attacked her over the radio.

I watched you interviewed on Atlantic City's Channel 40 during your last week in office, I was so impressed by your quiet eloquence, and also saddened to think the only reason you did not run was because of money.

All of this said, I must tell you how disappointed I felt that you did not step in to stop the demolition of the historic Ohio Avenue School in Atlantic City.

I sent you several letters, even if the letters I had written were cc to you.

I expected some kind of response, some action. I never even got more than one letter of response from your office, and that letter only sent me to a different part of your agency.

The Ohio Avenue School operated as a public school for over 100 years. In April of 2004, the children were taken from their classrooms and put into portable classrooms to finish the remainder of the school year.

These children, some of our most venerable, being poor and minority members.

The historic school was soon up on the block and sold for a fraction of its estimated value of 8.6 million dollars.

It was sold for 1.2 million dollars to CRDA. CRDA in turn gave the property to Caesar's Casino for a parking lot. Caesar's sold the property over to Harrah's Entertainment.

This "deal" was made possible by Dorothy Guzzo, who in April of 2005 decided that if Harrahs would give Saint Nicholas church $100,000.

Harrahs would have the state's blessing to demolish the historic school and possibly the former board of education building.

As a Democrat, I am outraged that our elected leaders say they are advocating for children, indeed you have been seen on TV advocating for literacy, have instead advocated for big private business at the EXPENSE of the children.

I really think it is IMMORAL to tear down a public school as well as a historic building for a parking lot for a casino. I think our government can do much better than this for its citizens, all of them.

I have attached the letter I have written to incoming Governor Corzine (see below). I will also send you a copy of the letter of request I have sent to Harrahs asking that instead of demolishing all of the three buildings, they save the two left standing and retrofit them for use in their business.

We have lost the school. Maybe, we do not have to also lose these historic structures.

I would certainly appreciate a letter of support for this idea or even better that you could negotiate a deal so we don't lose these buildings. I wish you well in the future what ever your endeavors are.


Gwen Goodwin, Chair
for The Committee to Save the Ohio Avenue School
153 York Avenue,Suite C
Cape May, New Jersey 08251

Gwen Goodwin Writes Governor-elect Jon Corzine

Dear Governor-Elect Jon Corzine,

Last year I had the pleasure of meeting you at a local fundraiser at Atkinsons restaurant in Cape May Court House. At that time, I had given you a package regarding the fate of the historic Ohio Avenue School in Atlantic City.

Two weeks ago, this beautiful 104-year old jewel was knocked down to make way for a casino parking lot.

Given the recent news regarding Jack Abramoff and his ties to both Sen. Bill Gormley (R. Atlantic County) and Congressman Frank LoBiondo (R, NJ), whom both supported the demolition of this functioning school for a casino parking lot, maybe there is more to this story than just the tearing down of a public school house.

Sen. Gormley went as far as to attend an Atlantic City council meeting to sell the idea of a parking lot for the casino and the demolition of this historic public school.

I also think the public needs to know that Dorothy Guzzo, of the state Historic preservation office, alone was able to broker a deal with Bally's-Harrah's Entertainment that calls for the demolition of a pubic building, paid for by the taxpayers of NJ, as long as a private organization, St. Nicholas Church in AC would receive a monetary donation.

The public loses, most of all the children, who we have all failed in this case, lose.

Please see our website for the of the history of and recent pictures of this unfortunate loss.

This event calls into question the competency and integrity of the staff members DEP and the state Historic Preservation Office.

Do you plan any changes to the staff of these state agencies?


Gwen Goodwin, Chair
for The Committee to Save the Ohio Avenue School
153 York Avenue,Suite C
Cape May, New Jersey 08251

The accompanying photographs of the Ohio Avenue School tell the story: A deal that smacks of New Jersey's trademark atmosphere of official corruption opens the way to a government-tainted structural assault. The result: Substantial (if not by now complete) demolition of the Ohio Avenue School building. Who benefits? The gambling "industry" and its surrounding underworld. This destruction was carried out illegally and deceptively, despite our efforts and massive but passive opposition and outrage in the community.


At 3 p.m. Dec. 19, Gwen talked to Michelle in enforcement at New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) at 732-255-0789.

Michelle told Gwen she had received a partial fax from Dorothy Guzzo (State Historic Preservation division of DEP) stating an agreement had been struck with Harrah's-Bally's on May 2, 2005.

Guzzo set up a deal allowing Harrah's-Bally's to tear down the Ohio Avenue School, if Harrah's would donate money for the preservation of St. Nicholas Church in Atlantic City.

Earlier that day (Dec. 19) Gwen had called Dorothy Guzzo's office and was told by "Meagan" they knew nothing about a demolition of the Ohio Avenue School and that it fell under the jurisdiction of Karl Braun in DEP land use.

Remember, DEP Commissioner Bradley Campbell was quoted (CLICK) in the Press of Atlantic City saying the Ohio Avenue School should be preserved.


Eight weeks ago, an OPRA freedom of information form was filed to look at any files on the Ohio Avenue School in Atlantic City's Construction Office. Gwen went there and asked to see the file. After a long delay, they brought out a single file folder with only two old permits in it from 5 years ago.

A year ago Gwen examined the same file and it was a thick as a phone book! Where did all the papers go?

A woman in the construction office told Gwen (no papers to back it up) that a demolition permit had been issued only for the school's annex, which was an old garage. She said a restoration permit was issued for the Board of Education building on the property but the Ohio Avenue School has no permits issued for demolition or anything else.

The bottom line is Guzzo made a deal instead of using her power to stop the demolition.

Did she make this decision on her own, circumventing Bradley Campbell and Karl Braun? Was it in the best interest of Atlantic City taxpayers to have the school torn down so Harrah's can have a parking lot and later, a new casino building?

What about a public official (Guzzo) setting up a deal to give casino money to a church? What about school children that were displaced from the school two years, ago, some of which now attend portable classrooms, so the school board could sell the school to CRDA and pay off some of its huge deficit.

Current Petition, to New Jersey and Federal officials for an investigation into criminal and civil offenses in the illegal and unlawful demolition of the Ohio Avenue School

Before-the-Demolition Online Petition to then-Governor Richard J. Codey and Environmental Protection Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell

Plus, you can email us ( messages to be forwarded to the above officials, and call Governor Jon Corzine's office (609-292-6000) yourself to let him know what you personally think of school demolitions that put business interests ahead of educating our children.
Plundered Ohio Avenue School Architectural Artwork and Artifacts Already on Sale!
pillage1   pillage3   pillage3
Parts of school building already pillaged at Recycle the Past architectural antiques.
Click on any photo to see enlargement. It may take some time to load, so please be patient.
Other Atlantic City Schools Slated for Demolition, Including but not Limited to the Following:
Brighton Ave. School
Brighton Avenue School.
  New Jersey Ave. Elementary School
New Jersey Avenue Elementary Schoool.
Pleasantville HS
Pleasantville High School.
  Indiana Avenue School
Indiana Avenue School.
Mainly the Children Pay the Price
Pleasantville St. HS
Atlantic City's Indiana Avenue High School graduating class of 1941. Indiana Avenue High School, pictured above, is among schools slated for demolition, along with the Ohio Avenue School. At one time, magnificent schools were being built, and tearing them down was unthinkable.
  Oceanside Charter School
Like a growing number of schools, Oceanside Charter School has been reduced to a trailer. These trailers are not just temporary expediencies. Destruction has replaced construction, as the flimsiest structures permanently replace sturdy school buildings all over the city, unless we fight back.
Will the Demolition Below Symbolize the Atlantic City Legacy?
Once proud Traymore Hotel   Oceanside Charter School
The Traymore Hotel grew into this giant accommodation (l.) by 1915. In the 1970s, it was demolished. Is this the future of legacy of Atlantic City?

Thank you for being visitor number:

Committee to Save
the Ohio Avenue Junior High School
153 York Avenue, Suite C
Cape May, NJ 08204
Phone: 609-972-1961
Webmeister: Joel Meyers