Tuesday, March 8, 2016

NPS Plans to Lease Site of Proposed Robotics Facility

Newark, New Jersey: Eight years after a robotics facility was proposed for the site, a lot in Newark's East Ward has been listed for lease by the Newark Public Schools (NPS). 

A groundbreaking celebration was held in June, 2008 for the new NPS Robotics Center. The center was expected to rise at the site of a vacant lot at 42 Chestnut Street, where the Chestnut Street School operated until 1993. 

According to an article written in AIArchitect at the time, the facility was slated to be 6,500 square feet, and would have allowed NPS students "to design and build robots and compete in local and international competitions". The center was scheduled for completion in 2009. 

However, construction never began at the site, and the 'Coming Soon' sign remained posted for several years. On Monday, in a legal notice, NPS advertised that the property would be available for lease because "the State-Operated School District of the City of Newark...has determined that the Property is no longer needed for school purposes". 

Michael Maillaro of the Newark Teachers Union told Essex County Place that he did not know specifically regarding why the Robotics Center was never built. "I assume it was tied into the budgetary issues of the last few years", said Maillaro, adding that "we have had five different Superintendents in the last 8 years or so. That means a dramatic re-shifting of priorities every time there has been a change."

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