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New Jersey will soon have a new school district, as voters in the Sept. 26 special school election lent their support to having the boards of education of the Highlands School District, Atlantic Highlands School District and Henry Hudson Regional School District join together to convert Henry Hudson Regional into an all-purpose PK-12 regional school district. Atlantic Highlands and Highlands will join Henry Hudson as constituent districts.

The newly constituted district is the first regionalization proposal to be approved by voters since 2013, when the South Hunterdon Regional School District was created by combining the Lambertville, Stockton and West Amwell districts with the South Hunterdon Regional High School district.

Statewide, the New Jersey School Boards Association has learned of seven boards of education with construction questions on the ballot.

Statewide bonding amount proposed: $126,833,706
Statewide bonding approved:  $48,023,552
State funding of proposed questions: $40,298,168.50
State funding approved: $17,094,678.70

Under the Educational Facilities and Construction and Financing Act of 2000, the state will fund at least 40% of eligible school construction costs through annual debt service aid.

Here are the preliminary results as gathered from the offices of the county clerks and individual school districts. These results have not been certified.

Bergen County

Closter Borough – APPROVED — The board of education sought authorization to a) replace the roof and boilers, and to undertake any related upgrades and improvements at Hillside Elementary School, including acquisition and installation of fixtures, equipment and any site work; b) to replace the roof, boilers, windows, and the HVAC system in the gymnasium, and to make any related upgrades and improvements at Tenakill Middle School, including acquisition and installation of fixtures, equipment and any site work; c) to appropriate $6,489,700 for such improvements; and d) to issue bonds in an amount not to exceed $6,489,700. The state debt service aid percentage will equal 40% of the annual debt service due with respect to the final eligible costs of the projects.

The final eligible costs for the projects approved by the Commissioner of Education are $6,489,700 (consisting of $3,116,200 for Hillside Elementary School and $3,373,500 for Tenakill Middle School).

Total bonding amount approved: $6,489,700
State funding: $2,594,280

Cumberland County

Lawrence Township – REJECTED — The board of education isought authorization to a) undertake various improvements, alterations, renovations and upgrades, and to construct additions at the Myron L. Powell Elementary School, including acquisition and installation of fixtures, equipment and any site work; and b) to appropriate $6,075,655 and to issue bonds in an amount not to exceed $6,075,655.

The final eligible costs for the projects approved by the Commissioner of Education were $1,367,640. The projects included $814,385 for school facility construction elements in addition to the facilities efficiency standards developed by the Commissioner of Education or not otherwise eligible for state support pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:7G- 5(g). The state debt service aid percentage would have been equal 56.8123% of the annual debt service due with respect to the final eligible costs of the projects.

Total bonding amount proposed: $6,075,655
State funding: $776,987

Essex County

North Caldwell Borough – REJECTED — The board of education was seeking authorization to a) undertake various improvements, alterations, renovations and upgrades and to construct additions at Grandview School and Gould School, including acquisition and installation of fixtures, equipment and any site work; and b) to appropriate $50,947,399, partially funded by $5,000,000 currently available from the board’s capital reserve fund, and to issue bonds in an amount not to exceed $45,947,399.

The final eligible costs for the projects approved by the Commissioner of Education were $29,596,157 (consisting of $15,326,111 for Grandview School and $14,270,046 for Gould School). The projects included $3,948,373 (consisting of $1,948,375 for Grandview School and $1,999,998 for Gould School) for school facility construction elements in addition to the facilities efficiency standards developed by the Commissioner of Education or not otherwise eligible for state support pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:7G-5(g). The state debt service aid percentage would have equaled 40% of the annual debt service due with respect to the final eligible costs of the projects.

Total bonding amount proposed: $45,947,399
State funding: $11,838,462.80

Middlesex County

Spotswood Borough – APPROVED — The board of education was seeking authorization to a) undertake various improvements, alterations, renovations and upgrades consisting of the replacement of the lighting and sound system in the cafeteria, and various improvements and upgrades to the athletic facilities at Spotswood High School; upgrades and improvements to the HVAC and electrical services at Memorial Middle School; replacement of the playground equipment and various HVAC upgrades and improvements at E. Raymond Appleby Elementary School; and replacement of the playground equipment, various HVAC upgrades and improvements, and the replacement of a portion of the roof at G. Austin Schoenly Elementary School, all including acquisition and installation of fixtures, equipment and any site work; and b) to appropriate $12,655,357, and to issue bonds in an amount not to exceed $12,655,357.

The final eligible costs for the projects approved by the New Jersey Commissioner of Education are $12,303,357 (consisting of $3,824,250 for Spotswood High School, $6,110,650 for Memorial Middle School, $963,781 for E. Raymond Appleby Elementary School, and $1,404,676 for G. Austin Schoenly Elementary School). The projects include $352,000 (consisting of $352,000 for Spotswood High School, $0 for Memorial Middle School, $0 for E. Raymond Appleby Elementary School, and $0 for G. Austin Schoenly Elementary School) for school facility construction elements in addition to the facilities efficiency standards developed by the Commissioner of Education or not otherwise eligible for State support pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:7G-5(g). The state debt service aid percentage will equal 40% of the annual debt service due with respect to the final eligible costs of the projects.

Total bonding amount approved: $12,655,357
State funding: $4,921,342.80

Monmouth County

Highlands Borough – APPROVED —  Shall the boards of education of the Highlands School District, Atlantic Highlands School District and Henry Hudson Regional School District join together to convert Henry Hudson Regional into an all-purpose PK-12 regional school district, with Atlantic Highlands and Highlands joining as constituent districts, with the annual and special appropriations for such a two-constituent PK-12 regional school district to be apportioned upon the following basis: 100% on each municipality’s equalized valuation allocated to the regional district as provided by state law, and 0% on the proportional number of pupils enrolled from each municipality on the 15th day of October of the prebudget year?

Explanatory statement: A “yes” vote will permit the three existing boards of education to combine into one school district, thereby dissolving the separate Atlantic Highlands and Highlands boards of education, which will provide services to all resident students in grades pre-kindergarten through 12. The proposal maintains the current method of determining each municipality’s proportionate share of truces, which is based entirely on their respective equalized valuation rates. Tax savings are expected to result from the proposed regionalization that are an aggregate of the consolidation of duplicative services and additional state aid gained from an alternate state-aid formula provided for newly regionalized districts by recent legislation. A “no” vote would maintain the status quo regarding the three districts, with Atlantic Highlands and Highlands continuing to operate separate elementary schools, with students in grades 7-12 attending the Henry Hudson Regional High School.

Morris County

Butler Borough – APPROVED — The board of education is asking voters to approve three different bond proposals, which are outlined below. All were approved.

Bond Proposal Question No. 1 (APPROVED): The board of education is seeking authorization to a) make alterations to make improvements and provide a building connector and main office renovations at Butler High School, a drop-off loop at Aaron Decker school; and sanitary pump, electrical feeder and pressure piping replacement at Richard Butler School, including fixtures, furnishings and equipment; site work and related work and b) to appropriate $7,914,000 for such purposes and c) to issue bonds of the school district for such purposes in the principal amount of $7,914,000.

The final eligible costs of the projects approved by the Commissioner of Education are $1,552,500 (with $1,035,000 allocated to Butler High School; $287,500 allocated to Aaron Decker School and $230,000 allocated to Richard Butler School.) The proposal includes $0 for elements in addition to the facility efficiency standards developed by the Commissioner of Education or not otherwise eligible for state support pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:7G-5(g). The state debt service aid percentage will equal 40% of the annual debt service due with respect to the final eligible cost of the projects.

Total bonding amount: $7,914,000
State funding: $621,000

Bond Proposal Question No. 2 (APPROVED)

This bond proposal will only go into effect if both bond proposal No. 1 and this bond proposal are approved by voters.

The board of education is seeking authorization to a) make alterations and improvements to provide science lab and toilet room renovations and locker, roof and window replacement at Butler High School and toilet room renovations and locker and window replacement at Richard Butler School, including fixtures, furnishings, equipment, site work and related work and b) to appropriate $5,417,995 for such purposes and c) to issue bonds of the school district in the principal amount of $5,417,995.

The final eligible costs of the projects approved by the Commissioner of Education are $5,417,995 (with $4,102,510 allocated to Butler High School and $1,315,485 allocated to Richard Butler School). The state debt service aid percentage will equal 40% of the annual debt service due with respect to the final eligible cost of the projects.

Total bonding amount: $5,417,995
State funding: $2,167,198

Bond Proposal Question No. 3 (APPROVED)

This bond proposal will only go into effect if bond proposal No. 1, bond proposal No. 2 and bond proposal No. 3 are all approved by voters.

The board of education is seeking authorization to a) make alterations and improvements to provide gymnasium renovations at Butler High School; a security vestibule at Aaron Decker School and security vestibule improvements at Richard Butler School, including fixtures, furnishings, equipment, site work and related work and b) to appropriate $896,500 for such purposes and c) to issue bonds of the school district for such purposes in the principal amount of $896,500.

The final eligible costs of the projects approved by the Commissioner of Education are $896,500 (with $724,000 allocated to Butler High School, $86,250 allocated to Aaron Decker School and $86,250 allocated to Richard Butler School). The state debt service aid percentage will equal 40% of the annual debt service due with respect to the final eligible cost of the projects.

Total bonding amount: $896,500
State funding: $358,600

Salem County

Pittsgrove Township – APPROVED — The board of education sought authorization to a) undertake various improvements, alterations, renovations and upgrades at Elmer Elementary School, Norma Elementary School, Olivet Elementary School, Pittsgrove Township Middle School, and Arthur P. Schalick High School, including acquisition and installation of fixtures, equipment and any site work; and b) to appropriate $14,650,000 and to issue bonds in an amount not to exceed $14,650,000.

The final eligible costs for the projects approved by the Commissioner of Education are $12,700,000 (consisting of $603,410 for Elmer Elementary School, $128,000 for Norma Elementary School, $4,280,090 for Olivet Elementary School, $4,790,300 for Pittsgrove Township Middle School, and $2,898,200 for Arthur P. Schalick High School). The projects include $1,950,000 (consisting of $1,950,000 for Arthur P. Schalick High School) for school facility construction elements in addition to the facilities efficiency standards developed by the Commissioner of Education or not otherwise eligible for state support pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:7G-5(g). The state debt service aid percentage will equal 50.6477% of the annual debt service due with respect to the final eligible costs of the projects.

Total bonding amount: $14,650,000
State funding: $6,432,257.90

Sussex County

Hopatcong Borough – REJECTED — The board of education asked voters to approve two bond proposals, which are outlined below:

Bond Proposal Question No. 1 (REJECTED): The board of education sought authorization to a) provide for renovations, alterations and improvements at Hopatcong High School, Hopatcong Middle School, and Durban Avenue Elementary School, including acquisition and installation of fixtures, furnishings and equipment, site work and related work and costs: and b) to appropriate $22,548,100 for such purposes and c) to issue bonds of the school district therefor in the principal amount of $22,548,100.

The final eligible costs of these projects authorized by this bond proposal and approved by the Commissioner of Education would have been $22,548,100 (with $11,322,500 allocated to Hopatcong High School, $8,651,400 allocated to Hopatcong Middle School, and $2,574,200 allocated to Durban Avenue Elementary School. The state debt service and percentage will equal 40% of the annual debt service due with respect to the final eligible costs of the projects.

Total bonding amount proposed: $22,548,100
State funding: $9,019,240

Bond Proposal Question No. 2 (REJECTED): This bond proposal would have gone into effect only if both bond proposal No.1 and bond proposal No. 2 were both approved by the voters.

The board of education sought authorization to a) provide for a new scoreboard and sound system and field house restroom and concession stand renovations at Hopatcong High School and renovations, alterations and improvements at Tulsa Trail Elementary School, including acquisition and installation of fixtures, furnishings and equipment, site work and related work and costs; b) to appropriate $4,239,000 for such purposes and c) to issue bonds of the school district therefor in the principal amount of $4,239,000.

The final eligible costs of the projects authorized by this bond proposal and approved by the Commissioner of Education would have been $3,922,000 (with $0 allocated to Hopatcong High School and $3,922,000 allocated to Tulsa Trail Elementary School). The projects include $317,000 allocated to Hopatcong High School for elements in addition to the facilities efficiency standards developed by the Commissioner of Education or not otherwise eligible for state support pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:7G-5(g). The state debt service aid percentage will equal 40% of the annual debt service due with respect to the final eligible costs of the projects.

Total bonding amount proposed: $4,239,000
State funding: $1,568,800