Former Newark Public School Could Be Converted Into Charter School

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33 47 Maple Avenue Newark Team Charter School
33-47 Maple Avenue, Newark. Photo via Google Maps/Street View.

A former elementary school in Newark’s South Ward that was expected to be converted into apartments might instead be used for educational purposes once again.


An intricate legal notice issued in February refers to 33-47 Maple Avenue in the Weequahic neighborhood as the location where TEAM Academy Charter School, Inc. is seeking to operate a school. The property in question is home to the Maple Avenue Elementary School building, which was sold to an affiliate of the Hanini Group by the Newark Housing Authority for $1.2 million after being controversially shuttered by Newark Public Schools during the ‘One Newark’ era.

The notice stated that the Arizona Industrial Development Authority is planning to issue up to $21.5 million in charter school revenue bonds. The proceeds of the sale of the bonds are expected to finance a loan by the Equitable Facilities Fund (EFF) to The Friends of TEAM Charter Schools, Inc.

The loan “will finance the acquisition, construction, expansion, remodeling, renovation, improvement, furnishing and/or equipping of” the 62,010 square foot building at 33-47 Maple Avenue, according to the notice. The end result would be a school serving up to 560 students.

EFF is a Delaware company that has affiliations with the Walton Family Foundation, which in turn is associated with the founders of Walmart.

A public hearing on the matter was scheduled to be held on March 5 at a law office in suburban Roseland. The notice claimed that the meeting would be “conducted in a manner that provides a reasonable opportunity for persons with differing views on both the issuance of the bonds and the financing of the project to be heard and to present their oral and written comments.”

This news comes close to two years after Jersey Digs first reported that the Hanini Group was planning to turn the former neighborhood school into 57 one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments. Multiple attempts over the last month to conduct an interview with representatives of the Hanini Group for this story were not successful.

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