Planet Princeton

Princeton Task Force to Study Fire Station Expansion at Valley Road, Consolidation of Stations

firehouseA new committee has been created to study the possibility of expanding the fire station on Witherspoon Street.

The Princeton Council voted last night to create a mayor’s task force on the issue. The item was added to the consent agenda at the meeting last night and was not originally listed.

The expansion of the fire station would enable the consolidation of the three existing fire stations, Mayor Liz Lempert said. The other two stations are on Chestnut Street and Harrison Street.

“The old Valley Road School property is adjacent to the fire station,” Lempert said. “Our previous proposal to the Princeton Public Schools for the old Valley Road School building is no longer valid. The building offers the potential to allow for space for the firehouse expansion. We’ve been asked by the school voted to modify or remove our proposal.”

The previous proposal is no longer valid because components of the proposal have changed. Originally the plan was to move Corner House and the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad into an expanded facility at the Valley Road site. But the rescue squad has since decided to move forward with expanding at its existing location, and Corner House is moving to the former Borough municipal building.

Council members Bernie Miller, Lance Liverman, and Jo Butler have been appointed to the task force to explore the expansion proposal and study how best to meet the facility needs of the consolidated fire department.

The deadline to submit a proposal  to the school board is April 8, Lempert said.

A citizen group has made an alternative proposal that the Valley Road site site be used for a community center. The group would raise funds for the center through donations to make needed building repairs. Non-profit groups would pay low rental fees to use space. Numerous community groups have shown interest in sharing space at the site, including TV 30, which is still housed at the Valley Road School now.

The school board has stipulated previously that the new use of the site must related somehow to an educational mission.

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.

  • SFB

    Seems like a good idea. It’s weird that the Valley Road school building just sits there crumbling. If we can save some money by consolidating the fire stations and maybe redeveloping the other two sites, that would be great.

  • Harry Meanwell

    Sounds like a done deal to me. Whenever Princeton forms a task force to study something it’s usually just cover for doing whatever it is they want to do.

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