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Voters went to the polls Dec. 13 to decide various school construction proposals in a special election.

Statewide, the New Jersey School Boards Association knows of nine boards of education that had construction questions on the ballot.

Statewide, according to unofficial results, voters approved $140,526,147 in total bonding. The state funding of those approved proposals would be $54,007,541.

Boards of education had been asking voters to approve $313,746,647 in statewide bonding.

With results in one district pending, however, the total bonding amount approved by voters as well as state funding could increase.

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 unofficial results according to the offices of county clerks.

School Construction Proposals

Atlantic County

Folsom Borough – APPROVED — The board of education sought authorization to (a) undertake various improvements, alterations, and upgrades to the HVAC system, a partial roof replacement, acquisition and installation of automatic door locking systems, and the replacement of the telephone system at Folsom Elementary School, including all related work, fixtures, equipment and any site work; and (b) to appropriate $7,012,045, partially funded by the School and Small Business Ventilation and Energy Efficiency Verification and Repair Program in the amount of $2,567,880, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 – The Elementary and Secondary School Energy Relief Fund in the amount of $191,454, and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 – The Elementary and Secondary School Energy Relief Fund in the amount of $422,892, and to issue bonds to finance the balance in an amount not to exceed $3,892,819.

The final eligible costs for the projects approved by the commissioner of education are $7,012,045.  The state debt service aid percentage will equal 61.5986% of the annual debt service due with respect to the final eligible costs of the projects financed with bonds.

Total bonding approved: $3,892,819
State funding: $2,397,922

Bergen County

Saddle Brook asked voters to decide three bond proposal questions, all of which were rejected.

Bond Proposal Question No 1:  – REJECTED – The board of education asked voters for authorization to construct a new middle school addition to the Saddle Brook Middle/High School, including the acquisition and installation of fixtures, furniture, equipment and any site work; (b) to undertake various improvements, alterations, renovations and upgrades to Saddle Brook Middle/High School, including the acquisition and installation of an athletic turf field, lighting, fixtures, furniture, equipment and any site work; (c) to undertake various improvements, alterations, renovations and upgrades at Helen I. Smith Elementary School, Long Memorial Elementary School and Washington Elementary School, including acquisition and installation of fixtures, furniture, equipment and any site work; (d) to appropriate $48,890,600 for such improvements; and (e) to issue bonds not to exceed $48,890,600.

The total bonding amount proposed was $48,890,600. The state would have funded $2,410,231.

Bond Proposal Question No. 2 – REJECTED – would have gone into effect only if it was approved along with the first proposal question.

The board of education asked voters for authorization to undertake various improvements, alterations, renovations and upgrades at Saddle Brook Middle/High School, Helen I. Smith Elementary School, Long Memorial Elementary School, Franklin Elementary School and Washington Elementary School, including acquisition and installation of fixtures, furniture, equipment and any site work; (b) to appropriate $5,067,837 for such improvements; and (c) to issue bonds in an amount not to exceed $5,067,837.

The total bonding amount proposed was $5,067,837. The state would have funded $2,027,135.

Bond Proposal Question No. 3 – REJECTED – would have gone into effect only if it was approved along with the first two bond proposal questions.

The board of education asked for authorization to (a) acquire and install a second athletic turf field and lighting at Saddle Brook Middle/High School, including acquisition and installation of any fixtures, equipment and any site work; (b) to undertake various improvements, alterations, renovations and upgrades at Coolidge School, including acquisition and installation of fixtures, furniture, equipment and any site work; (c) to appropriate $4,700,850 for such improvements; and (d) to issue bonds in an amount not to exceed $4,700,850.

The total bonding amount proposed was $4,700,850. The state would have funded $1,421,000.

If voters had approved all three bond proposal questions, the district would have been authorized to spend a total of $58,659,287 and the total state funding would have been $5,858,366.

Camden County

Berlin – APPROVED The board of education asked voters for authorization to undertake various improvements, alterations, renovations, repairs and upgrades at Berlin Community School, including related work, fixtures, furniture, equipment and any site work; and (b) to appropriate $19,699,285, and to issue bonds in an amount not to exceed $19,699,285.

The final eligible costs for the projects approved by the commissioner of education are $19,699,285.

Total bonding approved: $19,699,285
State funding: $7,879,714

Monmouth County

Wall – The board of education asked voters to approve two bond proposal questions.

Bond Proposal Question No. 1: – APPROVED – The board asked for authorization to (a) to undertake various improvements, alterations, renovations and upgrades at Wall High School, Allenwood Elementary School, Central Elementary School, Wall Intermediate School, Old Mill Elementary School, Wall Primary School and West Belmar Elementary School, including acquisition and installation of fixtures, furniture, equipment and any site work; (b) to appropriate $53,078,733 for such improvements; and (c) to issue bonds in an amount not to exceed $53,078,733.

The final eligible costs for the projects approved by the commissioner of education are $53,078,733 (consisting of $24,744,041 for Wall High School, $3,963,238 for Allenwood Elementary School, $4,913,486 for Central Elementary School, $12,647,754 for Wall Intermediate School, $4,019,052 for Old Mill Elementary School, $364,000 for Wall Primary School, and $2,427,162 for West Belmar Elementary School).

Total bonding approved: $53,078,733
State funding: $21,231,493

Bond Proposal Question No. 2APPROVED – This proposal was also approved and will go into effect as voters also approved the first bond proposal question.

The board asked voters for authorization to undertake various improvements, alterations, renovations and upgrades at Wall High School, including athletic facilities improvements, alterations, renovations and upgrades, and various improvements, alterations, renovations and upgrades at Allenwood Elementary School, Wall Intermediate School, Old Mill Elementary School and West Belmar Elementary School, including acquisition and installation of fixtures, furniture, equipment and any site work; (b) to appropriate $13,520,475 for such improvements; and (c) to issue bonds in an amount not to exceed $13,520,475.

The final eligible costs for the projects approved by the commissioner of education are $5,911,196 (consisting of $819,000 for Wall High School, $234,839 for Allenwood Elementary School, $1,560,000 for Wall Intermediate School, $1,041,857 for Old Mill Elementary School, and $2,255,500 for West Belmar Elementary School).

Total bonding approved: $13,520,475
State funding: $2,364,478

Since both bond proposal questions were approved, the board is authorized to spend a total of $66,599,208 and total state funding will be $23,595,971.

Morris County

Dover – REJECTED – The board of education sought authorization to construct a new middle school on land owned by the board located on the Dover High School campus and to undertake various improvements, alterations, renovations and upgrades and to construct an addition to Dover High School, including the acquisition and installation of fixtures, furniture, equipment and any site work and to (b) appropriate $69,263,500 and to issue bonds in an amount not to exceed $69,263,500, thus using all of its previously available borrowing capacity and exceeding its borrowing margin by $13,628,316.

If voters had approved the proposal, the district would have been authorized to spend $69,263,500. The state funding would have been $8,056,803.

Hanover Park – APPROVED – The board of education asked voters to authorize it to undertake rehabilitation, renovations, alterations and improvements at Hanover Park High School and Whippany Park High School, including acquisition and installation of fixtures, furnishings, equipment, site work and related work and (b) to appropriate $44,349,835 for such purposes and (c) to issue bonds in the principal amount of $44,349,835.

The final eligible costs of the projects approved by the commissioner of education are $44,349,835 (with $28,071,975 allocated to Hanover Park High School and $16,277,860 allocated to Whippany Park High School).

Total bonding approved: $44,349,835
State funding: $17,739,934

Passaic County

Little Falls – REJECTED – The board of education sought authorization to (a) provide for additions, renovations, alterations and improvements at Little Falls Township Elementary School/Middle School No. 1 and Little Falls Township Elementary School No. 2, including acquisition and installation of fixtures, furnishings and equipment, site work and related costs and (b) to appropriate $31,274,316 for such purposes, including $502,074 ESSER and $1,209,017 PSE&G contributions, and (c) to issue bonds of the school district in the principal amount of $29,563,225.

If voters had approved the proposal, the district would have been authorized to spend $29,563,225. The state funding would have been $5,278,000.

Somerset County

Watchung Borough – The borough is asking voters to approve two bond proposal questions. At the time this article was published, an undetermined number of provisional ballots and late-arriving vote-by-mail ballots had yet to be counted, and results were too close to call one way or the other.

Bond Proposal Question No. 1 – PENDING – The board of education is seeking authorization to (a) upgrade the heating ventilation and air conditioning systems, to undertake various interior renovations, security upgrades, roof replacement and maintenance, replacement of exterior doors and electrical and plumbing upgrades, along with any related improvements, alterations, renovations and upgrades at Bayberry Elementary School, including acquisition and installation of fixtures, furniture, equipment and any site work; (b) upgrade the heating ventilation and air conditioning systems, to undertake various interior renovations, security upgrades, roof replacement and maintenance, replacement of exterior doors and electrical and plumbing upgrades, along with related improvements, alterations, renovations and upgrades at Valley View Middle School, including acquisition and installation of fixtures, furniture, equipment and any site work; (c) to appropriate $12,807,985 for such improvements; and (d) to issue bonds in an amount not to exceed $12,807,985.

The final eligible costs for the projects approved by the commissioner of education are $12,401,793 (consisting of $6,590,421 for Bayberry Elementary School and $5,811,372 for Valley View Middle School).

Total bonding proposed: $12,807,985
State funding: $4,960,717

Bond Proposal Question No. 2 – PENDINGThis bond proposal will only go into effect if voters approve the first bond proposal question.

The board of education is asking voters to authorize it to (a) to install air conditioning in the gym along with any related improvements, alterations, renovations and upgrades at Bayberry Elementary School, including acquisition and installation of fixtures, equipment and any site work; (b) to install air conditioning in the gym, to create an outdoor learning commons, and to renovate the existing softball field for use as a multipurpose field, along with any related improvements, alterations, renovations and upgrades at Valley View Middle School, including acquisition and installation of fixtures, furniture, equipment and any site work; (c) to appropriate $2,926,503 for such improvements; and (d) to issue bonds in an amount not to exceed $2,926,503.

The final eligible costs for the projects approved by the commissioner of education are $2,469,475 (consisting of $796,224 for Bayberry Elementary School and $1,673,251 for Valley View Middle School).

Total bonding proposed: $2,926,503
State funding: $987,790

If voters approve both bond proposal questions, the total bonding amount would be $15,734,488 and the state funding would be $5,948,507

Sussex County

Stanhope – APPROVEDThe board of education asked voters for authorization to undertake various improvements, alterations, renovations, repairs and upgrades at Valley Road School, including related work, fixtures, furniture, equipment and site work and to appropriate $5,985,000 and to issue bonds in an amount not to exceed $5,985,000.

The final eligible costs for the projects approved by the commissioner of education are $5,985,000.

Total bonding approved: $5,985,000
State funding: $2,394,000

Stay tuned to School Board Notes in future weeks for updates on  the election results.