April 6, 2022
HAMILTON, NJ (MERCER) – Hamilton Township and Hamilton Township School District are pleased to announce a conceptual plan to construct and occupy a municipal complex that would bring the Township and School District offices together.
In late 2020, Hamilton Township acquired the long-vacant property at 1750 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road. The property, which is known to have been the former home of ShopRite, has been vacant for well over 17 years. Looking to redevelop the property for public use, the Township had requested the community to provide input for the site. While residents offered many great ideas, the suggestion of a joint municipal complex stood out. The plan for a municipal complex would continue to foster decades of shared services in furtherance of the idea that the Township and District serve to benefit the Township and school communities and each other.
While the complex design has yet to be drafted, both entities agree that the facility would feature space for the community to have improved access to public meetings and events and provide an area for District and Township professionals to train and develop in technologically ready space. The complex would capitalize on environmental, economic, and workforce efficiencies resulting from bringing multiple Township and School District facilities under one roof. As the property owner, the Township would lease half of the complex to the School District upon completion of construction.
“The current municipal building, built in 1928, has served the Township well over the past nearly 100 years,” said Mayor Jeff Martin. “In 1930, Hamilton’s census was 27,121; we are more than three times that number in 2020 at over 92,000 and need a facility that can properly serve our residents and a much larger community. I want to thank the Hamilton Council and HTSD for their partnership in moving this conceptual plan forward. Additionally, upon completion, I will ask Council to sell Greenwood Avenue land to HTSD for $1 for a new school site.”
This plan would allow the Township to close three buildings – 2090 Greenwood Avenue (Municipal Building), 2100 Greenwood Avenue (Division of Health), and 2388 Kuser Road (Division of Recreation) and move services under one roof to save on maintenance and operational costs. “With an elevator that hardly works, office space that can’t be used due to fumes, and a myriad of other problems, the Township Municipal Building is falling apart,” continued Mayor Martin.
“The joint municipal complex offers an opportunity to develop space fit for our professional educators and community partners,” stated Dr. Scott Rocco. “The Park Avenue building is a converted elementary school that has served us well but has limitations as our district modernizes its approach to learning and how it engages with parents and stakeholders. We look forward to working with the municipality in creating a town complex that works for our students and families.”
“I want to thank the Mayor and Council for involving the Hamilton Township Board of Education in this process and giving us the chance to be partners in developing a site that will bring so many community services together for our students, families, and township residents,” said School Board President Susan Lombardo
“As Councilwoman, teacher, and mother of two daughters in the school district, and experiencing the growing partnership between the district and Township firsthand over the last two years, it is clear to see why this move is a win-win for Hamilton. This ambitious once-in-a-lifetime opportunity allows the Township, as a whole, to streamline and modernize services to better serve all of our residents,” stated Township Council President Nancy Phillips.
The Township will work with the School District to start soon on design, as well as contracting for the demolition of the current building.