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Dorm, Science Center Proposed for Education Center

Milky Way applying to Planning Board for exceptions to parking and lighting rules. Non-profit wants to relocate science academy to Totowa Road and build dormitories for 300 students.

The Milky Way Education Center has brought another application before the Planning Board.

The school brought a controversial application to construct a new education campus on the BAE Systems property on Totowa Road earlier this year. This newest application involves exceptions for parking and lighting.

The application is on the agenda for the board’s meeting on Monday.

The Board unanimously approved the Pioneer Academy of Science’s application to relocate to 165,000-square-foot building at 164 Totowa Road and construct dormitories on the second floor. The Milky Way Education Center, a non-profit, runs the academy. The school is currently located in a 19,000-square-foot building in Clifton.

The school wants to more than triple its enrollment of 177 students to about 600.

About 300 boys are expected to live in the more than 100 dorm rooms once constructed.

The town council approved an ordinance in February prohibiting dormitories being built in town except for St. Joseph’s Wayne Hospital and William Paterson University in an effort to prevent the school from re-locating. A Superior Court judge ruled in May that the school is not subject to the ban.

The ordinance was approved six days after the school filed its application.

Administrators previously said they would want to relocate the school to the new campus by September 2013 and have the new dormitory open by September 2014.

The meeting will be held in the council chamber beginning at 7:30 p.m. and broadcast on cable channel 77 and online.

— Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Daniel Hubbard at Daniel.Hubbard@patch.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Pad December 11, 2012 at 01:55 AM
This is exactly what we don't need in town. Is this another tax exempt property? Between the County, William Paterson etc etc. This town is taking a severe loss in ratables. They use our services and pay no taxes. Wayne should hold a meeting with William Paterson and see what the college can do for the Township. A deal was reached between Montclair State and the communities of Little Falls & Montclair. The board shouldn't make exceptions here for this site.
Scondo December 11, 2012 at 03:13 PM
It is a private, non religiously affiliated school. Is it really tax exempt ? It sounds like it is a business .

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