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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Weapons of Mass Construction (Community Service Project)

Join your fellow Princeton alumni for a day of learning, fun, construction and yes, destruction (at least demolition) for a great cause!

*** Update: Over 25 people have signed up so far, from the Class of '58 through to the Class of '12 ... Thank you to those of you who have expressed interest in the upcoming alumni community service day at Isles on September 20th! Over 25 alumni from various classes have already signed up. Unfortunately, we are experiencing some technical difficulties with the evite and some alumni responses were not registered. If you RSVPed via evite and haven't heard from us, would you please email Lori Piranian '06 at, so that we can get a head count and send you the appropriate release forms? If you haven't responded but plan to attend, please RSVP via email to ***

Isles, Inc., a Trenton-based development organization ( started by Marty Johnson '81 and other Princeton students and faculty in 1981, is coordinating a community service day in cooperation with the Princeton Area Alumni Association's Community Service Committee.

Volunteers will get the chance to work on the renovation of a beautiful, mostly vacant, circa 1895 former textile mill on the Trenton - Hamilton border. Along the northeast corridor rail line, the 6.5 acre site is being converted by Isles into a mixed use, "green" village. It will include offices for public interest and environmental organizations, training facilities for inner city youth, homes, art studios and other spaces.

Because of the unusually "green" approach to Isles' redevelopment plans, Princeton University's Civil and Environmental Engineering fall course titled "Sustainable Design CEE 477" will focus on the mill's unique opportunities and challenges.

The mill is located at One North Johnston Ave, Trenton, NJ 08609. It is about a 12 minute drive from Princeton's campus, just south on Route 1. Volunteers, or "mass constructors" will get the chance to demolish some walls, or paint (clean, latex, low odor), or landscape with bulbs and other plantings. Alumni spouses and children (10 and up!) are invited, so you can involve the family. No experience needed.

In addition to the chance to get some good physical work (therapy?) done, we will learn about community development from one of the leading organizations in the region and country.

When: Saturday, September 20th, 8:30am - 4:00pm. Please plan to arrive between 8:30 and 9:00 to get acquainted and learn the ropes, and stay as long as you'd like. We will meet at the site. Gloves, goggles and tools will be provided. Bring your own lunch, or $6/head and we will order pizza.

Volunteers are invited to bring food items for donation to the Mercer Street Friends Food Bank, which serves over 17,000 low-income men, women and children who reside in Mercer County and neighboring communities. The following non-perishable items are especially needed: canned tuna fish, sardines, salmon, chicken; fruit in light syrup; juices; rice; Parmalat or other shelf-stable milk.

Please let us know if you're planning to attend; we need a head count to ensure we have the right number of supervisors and supplies. When we hear from you, we will email you volunteer guidelines and forms.

Please RSVP by clicking on the web address below:
Web Address: or contact Lori Piranian '06.


Sev Onyshkevych '83 said...

This is an excellent idea!

Over 40 members of the Class of 1983 spent two days working on this Isles project, as the Community Service Project for our 25th Reunion ... working hard, enjoying the work and contributing to the community.

Joe said...

Wish I could be there, but I have to be at work that day. Hope to join the next project!

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