Princeton Council Postpones Discussion About Rezoning of Former American Boychoir School Property

Albermarle, formerly the American Boychoir School.
Albermarle, formerly the American Boychoir School.

The rezoning of the former American Boychoir School property was pulled from the Princeton Council’s agenda last night because some residents who live near the school oppose the new owner’s expansion plans, officials said.

Last month, the American Boychoir School moved to the former St. Josephy’s Seminary site on Mapleton Road in Plainsboro. The Wilberforce School and the French American School share the campus with the American Boychoir School.

The 17.5 acre American Boychoir School property on Lambert Drive was sold to the Bairong Education Foundation recently for $5.9 million The foundation, based in China, plans to open the Princeton International School of Mathematics and Science, which will serve Chinese students in grades 9 through 12.  The new school will be a private international coeducational boarding school with some day students, and the school will be affiliated with the Renmin University of China.

School leaders hope the school will open in the fall of 2014. The school is considering offering a small pilot program this summer. Eventually the school plans to have a total enrollment of 300. The Boychoir School had a maximum enrollment of about 80 students.

A few more buildings would be added to the campus to accommodate the greater number of students. Some staff and the majority of students would live on the campus. The school has hired architect and developer J. Robert Hillier to create a master plan for the campus and renovate two buildings on the site.

The property, once the he private estate of pharmaceutical executive Gerard Lambert, is zoned for residential use. The American Boychoir School was granted a conditional use variance for a school of up to 82 students.

Local officials have been meeting with school representatives to discuss the rezoning. The issues was slated to be discussed last night, but then the town started receiving complaints from residents who live in the neighborhood where the property is located. Several residents oppose the increased density on the site.