Planet Princeton

Letters: Make the Valley Road School Building a Community Center Without Costing the Taxpayers a Dime

The Valley Road School Building can be so much more in the future.

Just picture a community center with an auditorium, a gym, rooms for meetings and parties, with very affordable rents,plenty of parking for nonprofits and visitors, and conveniently located just a mile away from downtown Princeton.

But this possibility is being blocked by the calculated indifference of the school board members of the Princeton Public Schools.

They are sitting on their hands. They do not allow this effort be accomplished, but they do not fix the building either. They are just waiting for the building to rot.

Unfortunately you, the taxpayer, will have to foot the bill to tear the building down.

After witnessing the Princeton Public Schools’ expensive mismanagement of the renovations of Princeton High School and John Witherspoon Middle school, we do not have a lot of confidence in them taking on this project. More tax payers money will just bleed out again.

Bleeding is already happening. The school budget has already passed, but now your money is needed for more building improvements. The Town Topics of 8/6/12 reported on the possible bond referendum for renovations to the schools: “If passed, the board of Education has estimated the tax impact of the bond at less than $155 annually to the average assessed home in Princeton.”

How about this $155 being too much for a lot of the average Princeton households in anemic economic times, particularly after so much taxpayer money was spent on the building projects not long ago. Could this all be deferred maintenance problems, problems that are going to continue to dig into the pockets of the average taxpayer?

At least the Valley Road School Building does not have to pick the pocket of Princetonians if you let the Valley Road Adaptive Reuse Committee do its job.

Send a letter to the school board administration at 25 Valley Road Princeton, NJ 08540 or call  (609) 806-4200 and tell Superintendent of Schools Judy Wilson and the school board to let the “Save Valley Road School” group take over the building. The group is ready to raise the money, get nonprofits to fill up the space, and turn the building into a community center we have never had and can be proud of.

We look forward to seeing  Princetonians take charge, and we ask the mayor candidates Liz Lempert and Dick Woodbridge to let the town know what are their views and what are the actions that they will take regarding this important issue.

Sincerely,

Adam Bierman and Sandra Jordan

 

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Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

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