RIDGEFIELD PARK, NEW JERSEY, USA, July 24, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — The Academy of Greatness and Excellence (AGE) is pleased to announce that the school board has completed the purchase of the largest real estate property held by an Islamic educational organization in New Jersey. Within a year of being approved for its potential campus in Temple Emanuel-Paterson NJ, AGE purchased the former Neumann Prep High School building in Wayne, NJ. The property is approximately 25 acres, with 56,000 square feet of land. high school, chapel, presbytery and sports ground.
The purchased property has belonged to the Diocese of Paterson since 1965. The rectory and sports ground are leased to TSF Academy until July 2023, with no option to renew. The school building has been leased to the Islamic Education Foundation (IEF) for the past 9 years without possibility of renewal.
The AGE School Board was advised that the Diocese of Paterson was actively trying to sell the property and was no longer interested in long-term leases. A few developers were interested in buying the property to turn it into an apartment building or a retirement home. AGE board members believed they had a moral obligation to secure the building and maintain it as a school for future generations. The lack of suitable educational institutions is the most difficult part of attracting parents and students to Islamic education. The scarcity of real estate inventory and the difficult, expensive and time-consuming process of converting a commercial building into a school due to building codes and zoning ordinances is an overwhelming and sometimes impossible process.
“At this point, our main concern is to secure this magnificent building to educate our children in such an adequate facility, regardless of the organization that manages the operation. We are grateful to Allah (SWT) for having been able to lead to this important financial transaction without asking for help from the community or resorting to fundraising, which AGE has never done in its existence,” said Wahid Melook, Chief Financial Officer of AGE. one of its founders.
“For the past few years, AGE has had a cooperative and productive relationship with the IEF, which is a pillar of Islamic education in New Jersey. Unfortunately, due to the confidentiality agreement that has been imposed on all parties involved in this transaction, we have not had the opportunity to discuss future plans with the IEF. However, during the purchase process, we worked diligently with the Diocese to obtain the renewal of the IEF lease until the end of the 2022/2023 school year. Unless IEF decides to move Al-Ghazaly High School to its original building in Teaneck, which will be available for the 2023/2024 school year, we anticipate that IEF will continue to lease the building from Neumann High School Prep, and therefore AGE will ensure that the lease of the IEF is unbroken. If this is no longer the case, AGE will expand its operations and use the purchased building as an additional AGE school campus. Either way, and pending Wayne Township approval, AGE plans to redevelop the remainder of the property for recreational and community use,” Wahid Melook continued.
Dr Hammad Choudhry, AGE Vice President, said: “Although this step seems reactionary, it is in line with AGE’s vision, and it is necessary to avoid a situation that could have a negative impact on future generations of Muslim students. AGE’s vision is to provide an affordable, high-quality Islamic education that combines the motto “Greatness of Character and Excellence of Knowledge” that the school holds so dear. This vision has never been limited to any particular city, county, state or even country.
AGE currently serves approximately 500 students, and for the past five years registrations have closed within days of the process opening, with approximately 150 students on the waiting list. “It is very important to take advantage of any opportunity that comes our way to increase the intake capacity of students seeking an Islamic education, while strengthening academic, character-building and athletic programs in Islamic schools,” he said. said Dr. Abdeslem El Idrissi, AGE Board Member.
AGE Board Chairman Dr Rashed Rashed also added: “The unity of the AGE community, the support of parents and the dedication of the administration and staff are key factors in the continued success. of AGE. Securing such a property to educate future Muslim generations is a dream come true. I have been involved in Islamic education for 35 years, my four children all went to Islamic schools. Having an adequate and appropriate school building has never been possible due to limited resources and financial burden. It is truly phenomenal that AGE was able to acquire this property without overwhelming parents and the community with fundraisers and donation requests despite being a non-profit organization.
“In a very short time, AGE has experienced exponential growth in student enrollment and facility expansion; nevertheless, what is most remarkable is that during this time, we have earned the respect and trust of parents, students and AGE staff as well as the surrounding community, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. . At our Ridgefield Park campus, we have had a great relationship with St. Francis of Assisi (Archdiocese of Newark) and we plan to have an equally wonderful experience with the Diocese of Paterson in our new location in Wayne. We look forward to building strong ties with the local community and reaching out to all Neumann Prep alumni to build much-needed bridges in our society,” said Iman ElDessouky, Director of the Academy of Greatness and excellence.
Academy of Greatness & Excellence has grown into one of the fastest growing and most successful Islamic schools in New Jersey over the past ten years. AGE will continue to honor its commitment to provide quality and affordable Islamic education to current and future generations, whenever and wherever.
AGE News Administrator
Academy of Greatness and Excellence