Dear NJSBA Member,
Our Association is entering a milestone in its history.
By a unanimous vote on March 17, the Board of Directors accepted the Phase II report of the ad hoc Facilities Committee and authorized the Officers to negotiate the purchase of land for construction of a new NJSBA Headquarters and Training Center. The decision to buildrather than renovate the existing facilityfollowed a 15-month review of the condition of our current headquarters and its capacity to meet local school boards’ future service needs.
Eight local school board members, from all regions of the state, served on the ad hoc Facilities Committee. Mary Elizabeth O’Connor, Somerset County alternate to the Board of Directors, chaired the group. I thank the committee members for their commitment and hard work.
The committee’s Phase II report identified potential sites (a) that would accommodate a new facility to meet NJSBA’s future operational needs, and (b) which would be located near a major highway and, therefore, be easily accessible to the members. As envisioned by the Board of Directors, NJSBA’s Headquarters and Training Center will achieve important goals of the new Long Range Plan and Strategic Plan.
- A modern office facility, located near a major highway, will provide school board members with improved access to services and resources.
- It can accommodate the technology that will enable the Association to develop the data and research school board members need to fulfill our responsibilities.
- A training center can host most NJSBA programs and meetings that must now take place at costly conference facilities. It may also provide the potential for additional revenue through rental to outside organizations.
Funding for the land purchase will come from a transfer to capital reserve, authorized by the Board of Directors in September.
As we go forward, I will use this column to keep you informed about all developments. In the meantime, we have set up a special Web page that provides links to the Decision to Build vs. Renovate and the ad hoc Facilities Committee’s Phase I report, as well as a place where you can submit comments and questions.
I am confident that you share my enthusiasm as we enter an exciting stage in NJSBA’s history.
Patti J. Pawling