College funds renovation of Green House
By Kimberly Garnick
Funded by a tax exempt bond, the restoration and renovation of the William Green House, a historical Ewing landmark, could begin as early as April, according to Gregory Bressler, associate vice president of Facilities Management and Planning.
The college received this bond from the New Jersey Education Facilities Authority when it applied for funding for the Phase II housing project, which will add 240 beds to the housing lottery this year. The new Townhouses will begin housing upperclassmen next fall. Bressler said that this project will be completed in June.
The house, named after its owner William Green, a scout for George Washington during the Battle of Trenton, was built in 1712. It is located on campus between Ackerman Field and the Phase II Townhouse construction site.
It has been turned down for grant bonds from the Historic Preservation Bond Program, even though it is one of the most endangered sites in New Jersey and is listed on the national register according to the Oct. 14, 1997 issue of The Signal.
That means it can't be knocked down, but "it doesn't mean that it can't fall apart," Violet Cox, secretary of the Ewing Township Historical Preservation Society said in October.
Last year The College of New Jersey applied for $220,000 in matching grants from the state so that it could begin to restore the Green House. The original money from the tax exempt bond would have matched the money given to the college by the state. But last December, the college was notified that it did not receive the grants.
According to Christopher Bluesteen, Student Government Association (SGA) senator of Engineering and student liaison to the William Green House committee, the state is cutting back funding and this was the last time that the state would give out these grants. Because of this, the college is now responsible for funding the $300,000 restoration project on its own.
The house is in need of repair after suffering years of damage, including a fire in 1990, continuous water infiltration and exposure to the elements, according to the Oct. 14, 1997 issue of The Signal.
The facility does not meet current life safety accessibility codes, according to the Application for Grant Funds that the college submitted to the New Jersey Historic Trust.
The application also stated that restoration would only include "interior stabilization and exterior rehabilitation."
According to Bressler the only work that will be done is securing the foundation and brickwork, repairing the chimney and fixing any portion of siding or windows that are in need of repair.
"To do the entire house, it would cost over $1 million," Bressler said.