Letters: Don’t Be Dismissive of Valley Road School Proposal

valleyroadDear Editor:

As  a Princeton resident and tax-payer, with no strings attached, I am writing to express my opinion on the Valley Rd Building’s fate.

I support the letters written by Dick Woodbridge, Kip Cherry, Mary Clurman, Chuck Creesy and others, who favor the Valley road School Adaptive Reuse Committee proposal of reusing the building as a community center, with non-profit organizations as tenants, and who have clarified repeatedly facts, numbers, and ways needed to make this project a reality.

I want to make clear that Princeton Public Schools did not seek proposals for the future of this building on its own.  Actually, after years of ignoring it, they were forced to look into the issue due to the pressure and perseverance from a group of concerned citizens.  This did not sit well with them.

I want to mention Andrea Spalla’s condescending attitude at a board meeting years ago.  During the same meeting, Princeton Public Schools  deemed the building unsafe.  What a contradiction, Princeton Public Schools allowed tenants to stay until as recently as May 2013.

Princeton Public Schools, not surprisingly, refuses to accept the $3.9 million estimated cost proposed by Spiegel Consultants, which has sufficient documentation backing up this amount.

Princeton Public Schools has shown inability to give the proposal a “go”, delaying donations and the reuse of a building that would provide uses for education, recreation, and counseling.

The school board has shown, for years, no intentions of conducting any maintenance or repairs of a building held in their care.

The district signed a sustainability resolution.  This is very hypocritical, as they have the opportunity of showing how “sustainable” they are, reusing the building.

I call on the ecological/sustainable groups in town that save streams, grow organic, compost, and make garbage bags lighter to express their views on this issue.

I call Princeton Public Schools parents.  Do they want this building to be reused or do they want to “pitch in” with another tax increase, when it is too late?

I call the mayor, who always says she is open to dialogue.  Personal emails do not  do the job as well as if she clarifies her opinion publicly.

Princeton Council Members, you recently considered the possibility of raising your salaries with not even six months in office.  What do you say?

“That’s dead, we’re done”.  Mr. Liverman, are you done?

Do you dismiss Valley Road School Adaptive Reuse supporters’ signatures?

Don’t you even think that the building could be used for future Princeton students?

The meaning of service is gone. Boards and committees, they are all friends of each other, attend events and add positions to their resumes. Complacent. Arrogant. The outcomes might not be in the best interest of the town, but to keep their “chums” happy.  “Checks and balance” is needed here.

Princeton Public Schools members show a behavior that disqualifies them from office. It seems to me that they are making this a personal issue and their bruised egos are blurring their objectivity.  Unacceptable.

An historic building left to perish at the cost of the taxpayers.

It is not only sad. It is wrong.

It is time to do our homework, express our voices, react and fight for what we believe is the right thing to do.

Quoting Anna Quindlen, “In a democratic society, the only treason is silence”.


Sandra Jordan


  1. The property belongs to the public school district and the taxpayers who fund the district, not a group of private citizens who wish to rent space to private organizations. Suppose this group wanted the community pool? Or any other municipal property? Would you hand it over without compensating the taxpayers for the fair market value of the property? No. Many more people would be outraged to learn that the school district had given away public assets for private use. Time to move on.

  2. It would be cheaper and cleaner/greener to rebuild this building over rehabilating it. The cost of demolition is so high it tips the scales the other way. There are problems with the roof and facade and the failing brick morter have weakened the structure so that even rehab woun’t keep pace with the decay of the building. And still the infastructure is energy wastefull. with the high ceilings and massive windows, most of the heating and cooling energy is spent on empty space. So ineffecent that is neither cost effective to rebuild or rip down. [:-(

    1. The cost of demolition is not too high in terms of financials, but it might be politically. A private developer could raise capital to demolish the structure and build something else, possibly revenue-generative on the site. The question is, do we want that to happen?

    2. Oh all the simple anwcers, why not try some more expensive and dangerious. How about having a good old fashion auction. Or just make it illegal. Yea pass a law to remove it. and let the State pay for it. coo

  3. Ingmar Bergman ‘s Cries and Whispers is a film about a cancer patient, whos cancer ridden corpse asks her sister to conjure some empathy towards her own passing. While only the maid is the only one who can, the sister argue over the disgusting smell and appearace of the rotten anamated courps. The living sister can not let go as they are so selfish and uncaring. Thos build is a rotted courps that died of cancer and neglect. Why not stop beating a dead horse and allow the old lady to pass away with dignity.

  4. PPS must make a decision. Inertia is not an answer. Do something! Repair it, reuse it, even demolish it, just don’t leave it there; take responsibility, if the community center is not a good idea, then say it so, then perhaps it could be used by PPS students. There is a cafeteria, there is a stage and backstage for theatre use, there is stuff there that perhaps could be used, for those who don’t know. But PPS board has done and is still doing a very lousy job with that building.

  5. Let people have run of the build ing and so they can take “mementos” and “valuables”. and the building just dissapear. I can (not) see it now.

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