GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES ELLIS ISLAND REHABILITATION PARTNERSHIP
Save Ellis Island, Inc Joins National Park
Service in Restoring 30 Island Buildings
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Governor Donald T. DiFrancesco announced today a new partnership between
the National Park Service (NPS) and Save Ellis Island! Inc. (SEI,Inc.)
that will enable the rehabilitation of 30 buildings on Ellis Island.
This partnership places SEI,Inc. as the primary fundraising entity for
(CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE)
Island is the story of the largest human migration in modern history.
More than 100 million of all living Americans can trace their roots to
an ancestor who came through Ellis Island. What we do today to preserve
the buildings here will speak to generations to come. It will ensure
that Ellis Island, New Jersey, the gateway to America, remains forever
an island of hopes and dreams," said the Acting Governor.
rehabilitation of Ellis Island has a special meaning for me because my
parents, Paul and Clara, came from Italy through Ellis Island as young
children. So many times, my parents spoke about the tremendous hope that
filled the hearts of the people who came here. Dreams of a better life
for their children and the generations to come," said DiFrancesco.
Acting Governor was later presented with a framed copy of the manifest
documenting his parent's arrival to America.
Acting Governor also toured 29 buildings on the South Side of the Island
which are currently under construction.
Of the 33
buildings on Ellis Island, New Jersey has jurisdiction over 30 --29 on
the South Side and one on the North side. Currently, all 30 buildings
are closed to the public because they are structurally unsafe.
Ellis Island! Inc. expects to raise $300 million in the next 5 to 10
years. Their national fundraising program will begin later this year,
but their efforts have already netted almost $3.5 million," said
Ellis Island! Inc. was established by Finn Caspersen to replace the
Governor's Advisory Committee on the Preservation and Use of Ellis
Island. SEI, Inc. plans to raise money for the rehabilitation of the
Island by seeking funds from the federal government, New Jersey, New
York and private sources. The organization will not begin its national
fundraising campaign until December 2001 or January 2002, when the NPS
decides on a final reuse plan for the buildings.
is a major step forward in that the history embodied here will live on
for future generations," said Acting Governor DiFrancesco.
are underway to stabilize the buildings in order to provide an
additional 5 to10 years during which the $300 million rehabilitation can
take place. Stabilization will cost an estimated $8.6 million --$6.6
million for the 29 South Side buildings and $2 million for the North
Side building. This $6.6 million is comprised of a $2 million
appropriation in the state FY2000 budget; $250,000 of in-kind services
through the Department of Corrections Inmate Labor Assistance Program;
$2 million in the federal FY1999 budget; $1 million in the federal FY
2000 budget and $1.3 million from NPS.
funding will cover the stabilization cost of the one building on the
North Side of the Island, The Baggage and Dormitory Building. This
building is the largest and in the greatest danger of collapse. The
Department of Environmental Protection donated $1 million from its FY
2001 capital budget and the NPS matched that with another $1 million.
New Jerseyans, we take great pride in our history and our people. We
want to ensure that future generations can share our pride. One way we
can do that is to stabilize and restore the buildings here," said