Paterson NJ schools want to borrow $ 10 million for real estate, land
PATERSON – As part of an effort to reduce rental payments, the city’s school district plans to spend about $ 9 million to purchase the building that houses the Alexander Hamilton Academy.
Officials said the move would save the district about $ 485,000 per year.
Paterson Public Schools are currently paying around $ 1.13 million to rent the building, located near the city’s train station, to a real estate company called Straight Street and Sixteenth Avenue.
Business administrator Richard Matthews said the district’s annual mortgage payments would be about $ 645,000 over 20 years if he borrowed $ 10.5 million to purchase the building. The $ 10.5 million loan plan would also include around $ 1 million for new artificial turf on the field where former Catholic Paterson played his home football games.
“They call it ‘The Swamp,'” school board chairman Kenneth Simmons said of Paterson’s Catholic field. “When it rains, the floods are horrible.
After:Paterson May Not See Payout In Settlement Of Opioid Lawsuit In 15 States
The Catholic Field at Paterson would be used for freshman and junior football games, and possibly some high school softball games, Simmons said. The district is also spending $ 500,000 to replace artificial turf at Bauerle Field, where Eastside and Kennedy High Schools currently play their home football games. Eventually, Paterson High School football teams would pay for their home games at the historic Hinchliffe Stadium, which is being rebuilt.
The school board gave preliminary approval to the $ 10.5 million borrowing plan last week. In recent years, Paterson Public Schools have attempted to eliminate what officials have described as unprofitable leases and gained increased flexibility in this regard after the state lifted restrictions that prevented low-income neighborhoods like Paterson to buy buildings.
Legal weed:Paterson Board of Education opposes municipal plan for recreational marijuana
The district has rented the Alexander Hamilton Academy building for almost 20 years.
“We could have bought it 10 times more,” said Emanuel Capers, a board member, arguing that the owner should give the district some sort of discount on the purchase.
But other council members noted that the owner has no obligation to sell the building for a lower price. Matthews, the company’s administrator, said a recent appraisal of the building put it at $ 8.5 million. City records show Straight Street and Sixteenth Avenue purchased the property for $ 11 million in 2002.
The school board is also in the process of terminating its lease for a building on Wagaraw Boulevard in Prospect Park, where the district boys’ school is located. The board plans to move the boys’ academy to a building on Smith Street in downtown Paterson, near the Center City mall.
NJ Housing Guide:Everything you need to know if you are looking to buy or sell a house in North Jersey
The neighborhood was originally home to the Boys’ Academy on Smith Street, but moved several years ago due to the poor condition of the facility. The district is currently carrying out an $ 810,000 renovation of the Smith Street site which officials say is expected to be completed this fall. When work is completed, the boys’ academy will leave Prospect Park and return to Smith Street, officials said.
The Smith Street Work is one of many capital improvement projects underway in the district. The others are:
- $ 458,971 for the installation of a retaining wall at the school 8.
- $ 376,975 to renovate the basement bathrooms at Eastside High School.
- $ 130,000 for disabled chairlifts to Eastside and Kennedy High Schools.
Joe Malinconico is editor of Paterson Press. Email: [email protected]