N.J. awards $399K for Clarksburg School work

Official says total project cost exceeds market value of building

By alison granito
Staff Writer

By alison granito
Staff Writer

MILLSTONE — The township recently received word that the state will pay $399,000 toward the overhaul of the historic Clarksburg School.

At last week’s Township Committee meeting, Committeeman Cory Wingerter said the money, which will cover engineering work on the project, was appropriated in this year’s state budget.

The township has spent approximately $682,000 to date on renovations to the former primary school. Officials expect the total tab for the renovations to run another $320,000-$350,000, according to Wingerter.

He noted that the grant, which the state paid last week, should reduce the total out-of-pocket expenses to approximately $380,000-$390,000.

The building, which is located on Stagecoach Road, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places about five years ago, Wingerter said.

"When this is done, we’ll have a completed 900-square-foot building," he said, adding that the new facility would give the township "breathing space."

Officials have said that employees are pressed for space at the main municipal building on Millstone Road.

The annex in the Clarksburg School will house some township offices and be used as storage space for municipal records, officials said.

The project, which has been going on for several years, has seen its fair share of problems. After the township bought the building from the school district, an underground plume of contamination, caused by a ruptured storage tank, was discovered at the site.

Last summer, the township’s emergency management coordinator ordered the building be shut down after mold was discovered in the basement. The emergency management offices, which are in the building, were declared safe after county health officials looked the building over.

The project has come under fire from one member of the committee. Committeeman John Pfefferkorn objected to putting any more money into the project last week. He said the total cost of the project greatly exceeds both the original estimates for the work and the market value of the building.

"That is why our taxes are going through the roof," he said.