July 10, 2013

The Valley Road School-Adaptive Reuse Committee Responds to Questions Deserving Immediate Answers


To the Editor:

As signatures continue to mount for saving Valley Road School and putting the question on the ballot, a couple of other questions deserve immediate answers.

First, is there any asbestos in the building? NO, according to the inspection and sampling that the Valley Road School-Adaptive Reuse Committee (VRS-ARC) and the Valley Road School Community Center, Inc. (VRSCCI) commissioned some time ago, there is NO asbestos in 369 Witherspoon Street. There is horsehair in the walls, but NO asbestos.

Second, will you be looking for municipal funds for the renovations? NO, we will be seeking private donations. In fact, we will be SAVING taxpayer money that otherwise would be required to demolish the building, an estimated $350,000-$450,000.

Third, where will VRSCCI get the funds? We have had many indications of strong interest from members of the community. We also have had considerable interest by Valley Road School alumni, many of whom live outside of Princeton. In addition, we intend to seek support from the supporters of the nonprofit organizations that become tenants, and we will also be seeking funds from investor partnerships. One prospective tenant has already expressed interest in being an investor partner. We are also looking at funds from the Economic Development Authority, which has recently financed projects for nonprofit organizations similar to ours. And finally we have plans for exhibits in the building illustrating the history that Valley Road School has presided over and that we think will interest potential donors.

Dan Thompson

Member, VRS-ARC

Dempsey Avenue