Historic Tulipwood Home Eyed As Possible College Satellite Campus

Tulipwood. (Photo: Wikipedia)

An historic township home that has fallen into disrepair may be reborn as a college satellite campus.

Tulipwood, located on Hamilton Street, is being eyed by officials at Raritan Valley Community College as a possible site for a satellite campus. The circa 1892 house was purchased by the township in 2003.

The move to turn Tulipwood’s interior into a series of classrooms is spearheaded by Township Councilman Ram Anbarasan (D-At Large), who said he wanted to increase educational opportunities for Franklin residents.

“Education is the great equalizer,” he said. “My plan is to bring more higher education opportunities to the township and training opportunities to the unemployed, youth, those folks who need help.”

The Tulipwood House, he said, “is something that has become a good spot for the college. I brought the college president to the location, he surveyed it and he really likes the place.”

Anbarasan said it might take at least two years to refurbish the building’s interior. The façade must be maintained because the house is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Councilman said having an RVCC satellite campus in the township would be helpful for those who can’t get to Branchburg.

The campus would offer first-year courses and workforce training, Anbarasan said.

“Allied health care, English as a Second Language, perhaps GED, those kinds of programs that don’t require big lab spaces,” he said.

RVCC president Michael J. McDonough confirmed that the building is being studied.

“Raritan Valley Community College is committed to serving the needs of the community, including Franklin Township,” he said in an emailed statement. “We are discussing possible alternative educational options in Franklin, including the historic home, and are considering a site that will allow us to deliver a robust educational program.”

Anbarasan guessed that it could take up to $4 million or $5 million to prepare the building and the surrounding property for the satellite campus.

“The building is in serious disrepair,” he said.

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