NPS Announces Plan to Move to a More Cost-Effective, Modern, and Community Friendly Central Office Space
[Newark, NJ – February 16, 2017] Newark Public Schools (NPS) announced that the district plans to move its headquarters from 2 Cedar Street to 765 Broad Street in Newark after the current school year ends, saving over $2 million per year in expenses. The proposed new space, which is conveniently located just two blocks from the current location in downtown Newark, is walking distance from Newark Penn Station and several major NJ transit bus lines. The space will inhabit fewer square feet than the previous location, but due to a smaller employee footprint, will also house several additional programs to make the space more student and family friendly.
“With our current lease expiring, we began looking at ways to save taxpayer dollars while making sure we are serving our students and community in the best way possible,” said Superintendent Christopher D. Cerf of NPS. “Our decision to relocate our headquarters to 765 Broad Street makes sound, financial sense, delivering over $2 million in savings to the community every year. Our new office space will also be conveniently located in downtown Newark and will be an ideal space not just for district staff, but also will benefit the entire community by giving students access to valuable resources on-site.”
The new design will include a street-level center dedicated to family support and community engagement as well as a state-of-the-art science laboratory and technology center in the lower level, which will expand educational opportunities to middle and high school students throughout the District.
In addition to improved student and community spaces, the new headquarters will feature built-in work stations, saving additional furniture costs and providing flexible workspace options for employees. This new layout will help district staff improve their collaboration across school networks and departments, as well as help district leaders attract and retain talent who value working in a modern environment.
“The 765 Broad Street location is optimal workspace for the district and community,” said Valerie Wilson, School Business Administrator for NPS. “Our new office space is move-in ready and will allow us to hit the ground running for the 2017-18 school year. This new investment will provide significant savings for the community, and we look forward to working with local officials, state leaders and community members to ensure that this new office space meets the needs of our staff and students.”
After comprehensive review of all proposals, district leaders moved forward with 765 Broad Street due to the significant cost savings and benefits the space offered the community, while still providing adequate room to accommodate student and community spaces. The district considered many competitive proposals and identified four finalists. The offer made by 765 Broad Street offered the best combination of price, timeline, location, and capacity for programs and needs. The decision-making process was inclusive and transparent, and all regulatory and statutory requirements have been met. For more details about this deal and the comparison described above, see the public presentation here: http://www.nps.k12.nj.us/blog/mdocs-posts/real-estate-review-february-2017/
Upon final approval, the move will occur during the summer months beginning in July 2017, lessening the impact on overall district operations.