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No Vacancy For Trinity Hall! Proposed Development Not A Fit For Historic Chapel Hill Neighborhood

The following blog post was submitted by Jennifer Valencia, a resident of Middletown's Chapel Hill area. Jennifer is a member of the Chapel Hill Neighborhood Group opposed to the choice of the Trinity Hall girls academy, to build its new school in their neighborhood along Chapel Hill Road.  

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On March 19, 2014, the Middletown Township Planning Board will hold a third hearing concerning the application of Trinity Hall, LLC to subdivide a 67 acre tract of land on Chapel Hill Road and construct a high school campus on the lower 37 acres.

Not surprisingly there are two factions: the ones who think this is a bad idea, and the ones who think it is a good idea (namely the Applicant).

The folks who think this is a good idea have offered the following “facts” in support of that view (please note that the quotes below are just for emphasis). Those of us who think this is a bad idea are going to offer what we know as the actualities in response to those facts.

CLAIM: “If we don’t build a school there, 300 townhouses, some designated for low-income housing, will be built instead.”

TRUTH: In a word, no. Phone calls to the Planning Board to inquire as to the legitimacy of this statement were met with incredulity. One member told us that it was as likely the tract would be made “into a second Disneyland.”

CLAIM: “The plan was for a rock quarry first, before we came in and rescued the land with plans for a school.”

TRUTH: Of course, we diligently researched the issue and no, you cannot mine in a residential neighborhood. 

CLAIM: “Our school is offering an education in the Catholic tradition.”

TRUTH: Possibly. But at this time, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., of the Trenton Archdiocese, refuses to support Trinity Hall. He writes, “The school’s founders are using the expression, ‘in the Catholic tradition’ to describe Trinity Hall. That is not the same thing as being a ‘Catholic School’ and I simply want to make clear that this new institution is not affiliated with the Diocese of Trenton or our Office of Catholic Education.”

Yes, you heard right. This is not a Catholic school. It is also not an accredited school. It also has NO TRACK RECORD. What does this mean for the girls who attend the school? Their chances of graduating and being accepted to an upper echelon school is, at this time, an unknown commodity. 

CLAIM: “Trinity Hall will preserve most of the open space and will also not develop approximately 30 acres leaving it undisturbed.”

TRUTH: Trinity supporters are claiming that the Applicant will preserve the large tract of land fronting Kings Highway. They circulated this claim wide and far. However, when residents asked them directly, at the first planning hearing, what they planned to do with this tract of land, THEY REFUSED TO ANSWER! ....

Continue reading on MiddletownMike.com


This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Public&privatesector March 07, 2014 at 09:39 AM
It's a better idea then building homes for more New York transplants to congest the area like they are already doing! That site was already approved for that take the school it's a much wiser choice!
Nancy Davis March 07, 2014 at 09:57 AM
All schools start with no accreditation and that in no way means that they won't graduate or get accepted to Tier One schools. That's Ridiculous! It's a great location and I wish them huge success.
Truth March 07, 2014 at 01:35 PM
What is totally irrelevant to any argument in opposition to the school is whether or not it is a "catholic school" "accredited" "no track record". That scrutiny is up to the parents who choose to send their daughters there. As far as questioning the competence of the leadership of the school. Mary Sciarrillo from oak knoll? You have got to be joking when you question her qualifications or competence. She is very highly regarded.
shep proudfoot March 07, 2014 at 02:33 PM
since when is a petition in support of (or against) an institution or any cause for that matter relegated to "petition" (JValencia) by virtue of who signed it? I suggest next time you notify the petitioner who they can petition ahead of time. Usually in "America" you can support or object to issues freely. Maybe we should have just let the southern states vote on the Civil Rights Act since many of the issues were in "their backyard" ... will you be surprised if the Gmelichs signed a petition in support of their cause? (my guess: "spoiler alert" they probably signed it. shhh) Best of luck with your ""Investigation"" into a petition. sounds like a great "use of your time"

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