June 26, 2013

Residents Establish Non-Profit Agency To Renovate, Operate Valley Road School

To the Editor:

Local residents have established a non-profit agency to repair, renovate, and operate the previous Princeton Township Valley Road School as a community center for nonprofit service and educational organizations.

Located across from the municipal complex and the Community Park School, the building needs extensive maintenance to secure the value of the 26,000 square foot stone and brick facility. It is listed as one of New Jersey’s most endangered historic buildings. Community service agencies need classrooms not cubbyholes. Non-profit services should be accessible and visible to the community.

Our all-volunteer community group has made proposals to the Board of Education and municipal governments. We are an IRS-approved 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, and have made a comprehensive 230-plus-page proposal developed by volunteer experts, including the descendents of the people who built the building in 1919. The school board turned it down.

The land for the building was given to the residents of Princeton Township and was the only public elementary school never segregated in Princeton. Similar school buildings are operated as community centers across the United States and New Jersey. Public-private partnerships are being established as government services are reduced. We do not want another public facility in town closed and excluded from community use. Princeton Community Television was forced to vacate last Friday leaving the building locked and empty.

Residents of Princeton are currently signing petitions at the main entrance of McCaffrey’s and other places in support of the continued community use of the building.

Contact info@savevalleyroadschool.org. For copies of the petition e-mailed to you that you can sign and mail back.

We appreciate your support.

Ridge Applegate

Random Road