Voters approved six of the eight school district bond referendums on Dec. 14 for a total of $73.1 million in school construction – making 2010 one of the worst years on record for school construction questions.
A total of $194 million was on the ballot on Dec. 14. Of the total amount approved, $25.2 million will qualify for state funds, either through one-time school-construction grants, annual “debt service aid” payments to school districts, or other aid.
Year-End Results With last week’s vote included, the proportion of construction proposals approved by voters in 2010 comes to 50 percent. Overall, 17 of 34 bond referendums were approved in the five school-construction election dates this year. The 50-percent success rate for 2010 – which is the lowest on record since NJSBA began tracking school-construction proposals in 1998 – reflects voters’ reluctance to take on additional debt during a struggling economy. The highest success rate was in 2003, when voters approved nearly 79 percent of school construction proposals.
For 2010, a total of $832.11 million in school construction was proposed to voters. Only 26.3 percent of that amount, $218.66 million, was approved. That figure is also the lowest on record. The highest level of school-construction spending took place in 2003, when voters authorized $1.4 billion in school construction projects – 84 percent of the proposed dollar amount for that year. A chart detailing bond referendum results since 2000 is available online.
School boards may hold special elections on five specific dates a year. The next date on which a school board may schedule a bond referendum question is Jan. 25.
Details of the referendum results are below. In-depth research on New Jersey school construction referendum results is on NJSBA’s website.
New Jersey School Construction Referendum Results
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Total amount approved – $73,119,009 ($194,052,536 requested)
Amount eligible for state reimbursement – $25,255,626 (may include up-front school-construction grants, annual payments of debt service aid, or other state aid)
Buena Regional – Passed
Addition and renovations to one school, and renovations to two other schools
Total amount – $10,128,959
Amount eligible for state reimbursement – $5,945,853
Somers Point – Passed
Renovations to three schools
Total amount – $5,748,215
Amount eligible for state reimbursement – $2,304,365
Fort Lee – Rejected
Renovations to three schools; expansions and renovations to three schools (electrical, roof, windows, additional classrooms, science labs, media center, athletic facilities, and other upgrades); property acquisition and construction of a new elementary school
Total amount - $89,811,077
Amount eligible for state reimbursement - $ 18,022,609
Kingsway Regional – Rejected
Additions and renovations to high and middle schools
Total amount – $31,122,450
Amount eligible for state reimbursement – $8,463,401
National Park – Passed
Roof replacement at elementary school
Total amount - $961,000
Amount eligible for state reimbursement - $599,550
Woodbury Heights – Passed
Renovations to elementary school (roof and heating/ventilation/air conditioning)
Total amount – $629,194
Amount eligible for state reimbursement – $251,678
South River – Passed
Renovations to two schools (electrical, security, windows, doors, gymnasium roof, library, science labs, air conditioning system and other upgrades)
Total amount – $14,192,403
Amount eligible for state reimbursement – $7,186,565
Woodbridge Township – Passed
Roof replacement and solar panel installation at 21 schools
Total amount – $41,459,238
Amount eligible for state reimbursement – $8,967,615