Voters in Brooklawn and Elmwood Park approved school construction proposals Tuesday, while those in Montague defeated a proposed school expansion and renovation, as a total $24.9 million in bond issue referendums went before voters in the three communities.
In Brooklawn, in Camden County, voters approved a plan to issue bonds to purchase a church and rectory, and convert them into classroom and administrative office space.
In Elmwood Park, Bergen County, the school board won approval for a project to upgrade and renovate four schools.
But in Montague, in Sussex County, voters defeated a proposal to expand and renovate the elementary school, to house middle school students.
In each of the three districts, the state has agreed to provide debt service aid to cover a portion of the project cost.
Jan. 28 was one of five dates during the year in which public school districts can hold referendum questions on school construction projects. The next date is in March.
Total amount requested: $24,974,944
Total amount eligible for state reimbursement: $5,743,546
Brooklawn (Camden County) – APPROVED - $1,985,000. Proposal would acquire the St. Maurice Church and Rectory in Brooklawn for the purpose of converting the church into classrooms and the rectory into school administrative offices. If approved, the board of education will also be able to use administrative office space at Alice Costello School for classroom space. In a last-minute jolt of help from the community, the local Shop-Rite of Brooklawn announced it would provide $50,000 toward contingency funds for the project.
Total amount: $1,985,000
Amount eligible for state reimbursement: $660,356
Elmwood Park (Bergen County) – APPROVED - $9,992,250. Project would encompass district-wide school renovations and upgrades, including replacement/upgrade of auditorium lighting, sound, HVAC, windows and a major portion of the roof at Memorial Middle/High School; interior renovations to provide additional classroom space at Gilbert Avenue and Sixteenth Avenue schools; and renovation/upgrade of the boiler, windows, lighting and more at Gantner Avenue School.
Total amount: $9,992,250
Amount eligible for state reimbursement: $4,222,724
Montague Township (Sussex County) – DEFEATED - $12,997,694. Proposal would fund expansion and renovation of the Elementary School to accommodate the district’s middle school students.
Total amount: $12,997,694
Amount eligible for state reimbursement: $860,466