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369 Witherspoon
 


Administration Building
25 Valley Road
Princeton, NJ 08540

Tel: 609.806.4200



A Timeline of the Princeton Public School Board's Decisions on 369 Witherspoon Road


The following timeline summarizes the actions and decisions by the Princeton Public Schools Board of Education regarding the future of 369 Witherspoon Street, sometimes referred to as Old Valley Road.

October 2007: Board Holds Public Forum Seeking Suggestions on the Future of the Valley Road Complex

December 2007: Board Seeks Proposals for the Valley Road Complex
The board passes a resolution seeking suggestions from the public for potential uses, and mandates that proposals “have no or limited negative impact on the school district budget, and that are aligned with the educational mission of the district.”

January 2008: School Board Receives Evaluation From KSS Architects of Princeton
An evaluation by KSS Architects details the age, condition and size of the buildings and the property and outlines five possible scenarios for the future. The scenarios are in three categories: 1) maintain all or some of the structures; 2) demolish everything and rebuild a large building or buildings; and 3) demolish everything, build a smaller building and sell part of the land. The costs of the options range from $5.5 million to demolish and build a small building; to $24 million to rehabilitate all of the structures.

June-August 2008: Princeton Township Staff Present Recommendations to the Board
Staff Recommendations and Summary of Work and Options outline choices to be made regarding the site. The options include rehabilitating the administration offices and gym/library section gradually, by using funds from the annual budget. The documents also recommend that the board stop investing in 369 Witherspoon because of the prohibitive cost of repair and upgrade as estimated by KSS. The Summary of Work also includes several plans outlined by the town Department of Recreation.

September 2008: Board Receives Resolution by Township Committee
The Township Resolution requests that the board reserve space at 369 Valley Road for Corner House, recreational facilities, and Princeton Community TV.

March 2009: Board Approves $2 Million Improvements for Valley Road's Administration Building
In a March 12, 2009, resolution, the board approves the withdrawal of $1.5 million from capital reserves to replace the windows and upgrade the HVAC systems of the administration building fronting Valley Road. The board also approved the expenditure of $456,000 to upgrade and improve the bathrooms, including those for athletes using the Valley Road playing fields.

December 2010: Board Seeks Proposals to Redevelop, Reuse 369 Witherspoon
The board passes a resolution seeking proposals consistent with its 2007 resolution. The board also states it “cannot divert scarce education dollars to rehabilitate and maintain it in compliance with applicable codes.” The board sets a deadline of June 2011.

January 2011: Board Leases 369 Witherspoon to Township Until January 2013
The lease allows the Township to take responsibility for Corner House and TV30 and indemnifies the district against various claims. The township also agrees to provide heat and power to the building; the renovation of the administration building resulted in the severing of heating and power supplies to Od Valley Road.

June 2011: Board Receives Two Proposals
        The board receives two proposals for the future of 369 Witherspoon.

August 2011: Board Holds Second Public Forum on 369 Witherspoon
        Interested groups present their plans to the public and the board.

September 2011: 369 Witherspoon in Desperately Poor Condition, Repairs to Cost $10.8 Million, Says Expert
The architecture and engineering firm Becica Associates of Cherry Hill submits its initial structural condition assessment to the district. The assessment states that “The possibility of maintaining the current structure 'as is' not recommended[….]The original building[…]is in desperately poor condition and will require a serious financial commitment [to repair].” The group estimates repairs at $10.8 million.

September 2011: Board Rejects Proposals, Resolves to Revisit Issue in 2013
The board rejects proposals submitted by various groups under the December 2010 request, and postpones a decision until after the two Princetons consolidate in January 2013, in the expectation that the merger would free up office space for tenants occupying 369 Witherspoon building. For a summary, go to http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2011/09/28/28846/ )  (In November 2011, the voters approved the merger of the towns)

April or March 2012: Board Votes on New Lease
        The lease turns liability over to the municipality, which will be landlord to the tenants until January 2013.

January  2013: Board Extends Lease to June 2013
        Modifications needed by Corner House postpones the group's move for several months. The towns offer office space to TV30.

March 5, 2013: Board rejects VRS-ARC proposal
The board approved a resolution listing deficiencies related to zoning, parking, funding and insurance, and reiterated its commitment to finding a solution consistent with previously stated criteria and objectives.





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