First Step Taken In Land Swap Between Township, Board Of Education

The current school district office building and its property will be acquired by the township in a pending land swap.

The first steps in the property swap between the township and the Board of Education were taken the week of Sept. 24.

Through the swap, the Board of Education will acquire about 13 acres of the Consolata Mission property on Route 27, and the township will get about six acres on Amwell Road, in the form of the old Middlebush School property, which is now the district offices.

The township will also reclaim a building it has rented to the school district, located across Amwell from the district offices, which the school board used for buildings and grounds offices.

The Township Council at its Sept. 25 meeting introduced an ordinance allowing the land swap for the portion of the Consolata property that holds three buildings.

Two buildings will be converted into district offices, while the third will be turned into a type of community center.

“I am hoping that discussions with the Board of Education will expedite that happening,” Mayor Phil Kramer said at the meeting.

The Board of Education approved a resolution authorizing the land swap at its Sept. 27 meeting.

The changeover will not be for some time, schools Superintendent John Ravally said.

After the council’s ordinance is approved in October, the township and school district have to close on the properties and the renovation project has to be architecturally planned, Ravally said.

The agreement gives the district up to two years to stay in its current offices before having to move to its new digs on Consolata.

One of the buildings on Consolata is a residence hall which will have to be converted into offices, Ravally said. The second building already holds administrative offices, “so that shouldn’t be a big deal,” he said.

“The front building is the oldest of the buildings, and that’s where we plan some community space, so that’s going to take some time to plan as well,” he said.

Ravally said the school board has set aside about $1 million “to help us to begin the work, then we’ll be engaging an architect to tell us what has to be done to make that a usable space for us.”

He said there is no budget yet for the renovation costs.


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