Planning Board Gets First Peek At New Board Of Education Administrative Offices

The architectural plan for what will become the school district’s new administration building on the former Consolata Missionaries property.

The Planning Board on March 20 got an advance look at what the Board of Education plans to do with buildings it has acquired on the former Consolata property along Route 27.

The school district and township are swapping properties; in the deal, the township gets the current BOE administration building on Amwell Road, and the school district gets three buildings on the former Consolata property.

The township will also regain the former municipal building on Amwell, across from the current BOE admin building, which it has been leasing to the district.

Tammy Stouchko of SSP Architectural Group told the board that the front-most building facing Rt. 27 will hold a community center, offices for food service and the registrar, and meeting and training rooms.

The district’s curriculum offices, currently stationed at various locations, will also be consolidated in the building, she said.

The three-story central administration building will hold most of the people now working out of the current Amwell Road building, she said.

Board chairman Michael Orsini asked Township Manager Robert Vornlocker what the township plans to do with the Amwell Road building – once Middlebush School – when the school district moves out.

“We don’t know how the current Board of Education building will be used,” Vornlocker said. “There have been some discussions, but no decisions.”

Vornlocker said it would be “several years” before renovations to the Consolata buildings are done and the school district moves in.

Orsini asked what would happen if down the line, the school district decided to move to another location.

“Give me some reassurance that there won’t be a strip mall in the middle of open space,” he said. “It’s an extreme example, but I had to ask the question.”

Vornlocker said the land didn’t present itself for that type of use.

The land has no road frontage, he said, and “it’s in the middle of township-owned property. It’s an island.”

Vornlocker said the front-most building will also contain classrooms, meeting rooms and a multi-purpose room “for the use of the township as we see our needs to be met.”

The Consolata property was also used as a polling place until the Mission sold it to teh township. Vornlocker said that practice would resume.

The project does not need Planning Board approval, the school board is exempt from that requirement. The board did give its affirmation that the plans presented conformed to the township’s Master Plan.


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