Plan For RVCC Campus At Tulipwood Scuttled

ON TO PLAN B – Plans to turn the historic Tulipwood House into an RVCC satellite campus were shelved due to cost and historic preservation concerns.

A plan to convert an historic township building into a satellite campus for Raritan Valley Community College was scuttled, mainly because of renovation price constraints.

The idea of converting the circa-1892 Tulipwood House on Hamilton Street into college classrooms was first broached in September 2021 by Township Councilman Ram Anbarasan (D-At Large).

At the time, Anbarasan estimated that renovation costs for the Township-owned building would be between $4 million and $5 million.

But Anbarasan said recently that the cost was much higher.

“The cost per square foot was prohibitive,” he said. “Just for the 3,000-square-foot building is was north of $5 million.”

Also dooming the plan was the need for a small parking lot, he said.

The lot “had to go behind it, and there was no other expansion permitted,” he said. “Very limiting due to the historic designation. Too bad.”

All hope is not lost, Anbarasan said.

“So wee are working on finding RVCC alternate locations, including at the Consolata campus classrooms,” he said, referring to the Board of Education property located on the former Consulate Missionaries property on Route 27.

“Hopefully in the Fall, we will have some programs beginning,” he said.

RVCC president Michael J. McDonough said through a college spokeswoman that the college is still interested in a Franklin location.

“Raritan Valley Community College is committed to serving the educational needs of our students and the entire community, including Franklin Township,” he said in the statement. “The College continues to look at potential educational sites within the Township and explore ways to better serve the residents of Franklin Township.”

Anbarasan said in 2021 that the types of courses that could be taught at a Franklin satellite location could include first-year courses and workforce training.

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

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