Kingston School Reborn As YingHua International School With Ribbon-Cutting


Township manager Robert Vornlocker, Township Councilwoman Roz Sherman and Mayor Phillip Kramer, left to right, in the Community Room at the old Kingston School.

A dream nearly 20 years in the making came to fruition Sept. 9 with a ribbon-cutting signifying the rebirth of the old Kingston School on Laurel Avenue.

Mayor Phillip Kramer led a delegation of township representatives to the event, which served as the official opening of the building’s new tenant, the relocated YingHua International School. The school had previously been located in Princeton.

Also on hand were representatives from South Brunswick – which shares the village with Franklin – the Tuchman Foundation and the Kingston Village Advisory Committee.

The event also served as a victory lap for Fran Varacalli, the township’s open space consultant, who led the sometimes frustrating negotiations with the state Green Acres program. (For more on the story behind reclaiming the school, click here.)

Kramer recalled a visit to the building several years ago with township manager Robert Vornlocker.

“Three years ago we came here, and I was afraid to walk in,” Kramer told the crowd. “We could see the grandeur of the place, but it was in horrible disrepair.”

“At that point, I did say, we need to do something, we need to preserve this,” Kramer said.

Kramer credited Varacalli, Vornlocker and Deputy Mayor Ted Chase as being the people on the township government end “who were the force behind this.”

“This is indeed a historic day, a wonderful day, to bring the Kingston School back in every sense as a school,” Chase said. “We were able to work out a deal where we won’t lose money.”

The renovation work was funded by Princeton International Properties, the development arm of the Tuchman Foundation. The foundation is leasing the building from the township, and has sublet it to the school.

PIP’s Ohad Feigenbaum said the renovation work was one of his company’s “most challenging” projects.

“It was also a fun project,” he said. “We think it’s a great addition to the Kingston community.”

Kristin Epstein, the executive director of the school, thanked those who had a hand in bringing about the project.

“We just can’t thank you enough,” she said. “We are so grateful to anyone who had anything to do with making this happen.”

“The fact that this school exists, that it’s so well-done, that all these other pieces were in force that made it happen made our lives so much easier,” she said.

Speaking to Feigenbaum, Anne Zeman, president of the Kingston Village Advisory Committee, said, “ We are so pleased that you were able to restore this historic landmark to the community. You don’t hear it, but we hear it every day.”

The renovated school features 13 classrooms, a library, a performance space, a commercial kitchen and a multipurpose room.

The building also features a community room, separate from the school, which was a Green Acres requirement. The highlight of the room is a wall-sized photo of old Kingston.

The room will be open for use by local community groups.

YingHua is a private Chinese language immersion school.


Your Thoughts


Please Support Independent Journalism In Franklin Township!

No other media outlet covering Franklin Township brings you the depth of information presented by the Franklin Reporter & Advocate. Period. We are the only truly independent media serving the Eight Villages.

But we can only do that with your support. Please consider a yearly subscription to our online news site; at $37 a year, it’s one of the best investments you can make in our community.

To subscribe, please click here.

Other News From The Eight Villages …