TINTON FALLS: Trinity Hall, a private, all-girls Catholic high school, plans to expand its facility in the borough's section of the former Fort Monmouth.
The Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) approved a redevelopment agreement with Trinity Hall during its Oct. 18 meeting to allow for the expansion of the of the building.
The resolution passed by FMERA states that the school's planned growth is due to increasing enrollment. Construction will include a 2-story addition to the 19,600 square foot school. Additional classrooms, office/administrative space, a multipurpose room, a chapel and a new entrance lobby.
Trinity, a 501c3 non-profit, purchased and renovated the Child Development Center located in the Tinton Falls Reuse area in 2015 for $2 million and made $500,000 in renovations to the property. The group's former facility was located in Leonardo, but all students and staff relocated to the Tinton Falls location in 2016, once renovations were complete.
Originally, the Tinton Falls School District intended to purchase the 7.4-acre property to build a new school, but opted to withdraw its interest in 2014.
Tinton Falls Mayor Gerald Turning questioned why Trinity Hall's expansion plans needed to be approved by FMERA and the Tinton Falls Planning Board. He called the process "repetitious" because the property is no longer located on the fort.
"It's not on the fort anymore, it was sold and is now located in Tinton Falls," Turning said. "We are doing work we don't need to do."
Ryan Brown of the New Jersey Attorney General's Office explained that the state statute which governs FMERA requires any development which requires major site plan review to first obtain a redevelopment agreement with FMERA. The board eventually agreed to explore this matter further as this is the first time a project has been required to come back to FMERA for a second redevelopment agreement.
Construction of the addition to Trinity Hall will begin no later than Jan. 31, 2018 and must be completed no later than five years from the date of commencement.