Corner House, TV 30 Could Be Moved to Princeton Borough Hall

A consolidation transition facilities committee has recommended that Corner House and TV 30 be moved from their current site at the old Valley Road School to Princeton Borough Hall.

Corner House would be moved to the eastern lower level of Borough Hall under the committee’s proposal, and TV 30 would be offered the western section of the lower level, Princeton Township Committeeman Bernie Miller told officials at a public meeting tonight.

A municipal agency that provides counseling and other services to young people, Corner house does not pay rent. TV 30 would pay rent for space if the public access station wants to move to Borough Hall. The school board for the Princeton Regional Schools has been debating what to do with the old Valley Road building and has extended the lease for Corner House and TV 30 more than once, but the portion of the building facing Witherspoon Street either needs major repairs or possibly could be demolished.

The transition task force and the governing bodies of the two Princetons need to approve the proposal. Officials will review the full plan for Borough and Township buildings in a few weeks and vote after the facilities committee finishes making recommendations about where other departments should be located.

The facilities committee is also proposing that the engineering , historic preservation, zoning, planning, and construction offices be located at the Township Municipal Building on Witherspoon Street.

Officials have already approved locating the municipal court and the police department at the Township Municipal Building.
The facilities committee is still finalizing recommendations for the tax collector and assessor, finance department, mayor, administrator, clerk, affordable housing and  health department offices.

Borough Councilman Roger Martindell questioned whether the footprint of the joint municipality should shrink. “We will have two municipal buildings before we consolidate and after,” he said. “If we had a Borough Hall and a Township Hall before consolidation and will have both after, it would appear on the surface there is no shrinkage of the footprint of the municipality after consolidation.  Is that a concern?”

Miller said there will be unused space in one or both buildings.

“I think there was a hope on the part of some people in community that we could work in one building,” Borough Councilwoman Jo Butler said. “But there is not  that big of a reduction in the number of employees. The reduction is about 20 people. Some of the police work evenings.  We already have a number of shared services. We can’t get rid of a building.”

Borough Councilman Kevin Wilkes said the consolidated municipality would no longer need to lease space at the Valley Road building. “It would eliminate two reasons 369 Witherspoon Street is being propped up — to keep Corner House and TV 30 going. It allows the future of that building to move forward. We will save money and shrink from three buildings to two.”