By Mike DeNardo

GLOUCESTER, N.J. (CBS) — They’ve been waiting a while for this one — about 15 years, in fact. But now, construction is underway on a new middle school in Gloucester City.

READ MORE: Open For Business: Spike's Trophies Focusing On Wins After Dealing With Major Losses During Pandemic

The new school building is being built on a long-vacant stretch of land at Fifth and Market Streets.  Last year the state’s Schools Development Authority announced plans to build a new, $42 million building on the onetime industrial and residential site.

Schools superintendent Joe Rafferty says seventh and eighth graders from Gloucester City Junior-Senior High School will join fourth, fifth, and sixth graders now at the outdated Mary Ethel Costello School.

“There is no gym facilities, in the sense of no outside places,” he noted today.  “For instance, when I left there today, their track is the outside perimeter of the building.”

READ MORE: Philadelphia Agrees To Equip All Officers With Tasers Year After Police Killing Of Walter Wallace Jr.

But the new school is slated to have 27 general classrooms, three science classrooms, a cafetorium with a stage, a gymnasium, a media center, and a computer lab.

“I’m sorry that the people who started this project fifteen years ago won’t be able to be here to enjoy all of the 21st-century technology that will be in this school,” said lieutenant governor Kim Guadagno (sixth from right in photo, wearing purple jacket), on hand for this morning’s groundbreaking.

About 700 students are expected to move into the new building in January 2017.


MORE NEWS: Man Killed, Philadelphia Police Officer Shot During 'Attack' In Overbrook, Police Say