Planning Our Schools’ Future
As stewards of the Princeton Public Schools, the Board is focused on ensuring that PPS school facilities are appropriately maintained and meet the needs of students, staff, parents and the community in the years to come. This means providing safe and healthy learning spaces that support the PPS mission and Strategic Plan, while reflecting the importance of excellent, equitable public schools to the wider Princeton community.
Princeton is an attractive place for families to live, and public-school enrollment has increased significantly over the past decade. As new residential housing continues to be built in Princeton, addressing the resulting pressures on existing school facilities requires collaborative problem-solving, informed by strategic planning and data obtained through students and staff, consultants, facilities experts and community engagement.
One major challenge in planning for rising enrollment is timing. Significant investments in school facilities take several years to plan and execute and require voter approval through a referendum process. Facilities projects approved by voters and underway include:
- Renovations and improvements, including elementary and PMS HVAC and additional learning spaces at both PHS and PMS (approved Dec. 2018/est. completion – Summer 2022)
- Critical building maintenance projects, including long-delayed roof repairs and replacements at all six schools (approved January 2022 with an estimated completion in August 2022-2025).
As we plan for the future, the Board is focused on:
- evaluating how the pandemic, the new PMS schedule, and the new 2018 referendum-funded learning spaces at PHS and PMS are impacting the capacity of PPS school buildings;
- monitoring enrollment and evaluating projections, studies, reports and other data relevant to future planning;
- collaborating with Princeton municipal officials to advocate on behalf of Princeton Public Schools, to be informed of municipal decisions impacting future residential growth, and to engage with municipal master planning efforts; and
- establishing transparent processes, through a Long-Term Facilities Planning Committee, to develop collaborative solutions, with community input, to facilities challenges relating to rising enrollment and 21st century learning needs.
Planning data, architectural plans and recommendations that have been made available to the Board since 2017 are available here.