A Newark charter school currently operating on Bergen Avenue has purchased a century-old property on Clinton Avenue that they will be transforming into their newest campus.
People’s Preparatory Charter School, the city’s oldest independent charter school, announced they have bought the Temple B’nai Abraham building for $2.5 million. The property was purchased from the Deliverance Evangelical Center and the sale includes parcels at 621-635 Clinton Avenue, 826 South 10th Street and 109 Shanley Avenue.
“We are so excited to continue serving Newark’s students and families in our future home at 621 Clinton Avenue,” the school said in a prepared statement. “When complete, the fully restored and updated facility would not only reflect the deep and rich history of the building and the city, but also the importance of our mission, all while providing our students, families, alumni and the broader community with a neighborhood centerpiece that will honor past generations and inspire future ones.”
Situated on the corner of Clinton and Shanley avenues, the building was originally constructed in 1924 as Temple B’nai Abraham. The sanctuary became a center for Jewish worshippers in Essex County and was at one point the largest synagogue building in New Jersey.
The congregation moved to Livingston in the 1970s, but their former home was nonetheless added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007. The 44,000-square-foot property includes a sanctuary with Doric columns, cathedral ceilings, and stained-glass windows, while a 300-seat auditorium, dining hall, and office space are included in the complex.
“This is a tremendous moment for our school to have a new home where we will provide generations of students with the high-quality education they deserve,” People’s Preparatory added in an Instagram post.
The school noted that the building needs “significant work to restore it to its former glory in the days when Martin Luther King Jr. spoke there, but we also plan to extensively engage the community throughout the many planning stages over the next several years.”
Coldwell Banker Realty’s Yvonne Taylor and Eulondia Reese-Turner arranged the deal, which was finalized earlier this month. A specific timeline for when People’s Preparatory Charter School hopes to open at the property has not been announced.