TRENTON, January 24, 2019—Voters approved three school construction ballot questions, defeated one and left another too close to call in the January 22nd special school election. Meanwhile, in Lafayette, Sussex County, voters broke a 63-63 tie from the general election between two school board write-in candidates.
Construction questions were approved in Warren Township, Somerset County; Logan Township, Gloucester County; and Toms River Regional, Ocean County. A ballot question in Oxford Township, Warren County, was too close to call, school officials said. A construction proposal in Hackensack, Bergen County was rejected.
The fourth Tuesday in January is one of five dates during the year when school boards may ask voters to approve school construction proposals. Under the Educational Facilities Construction and Financing Act, the state will fund at least 40 percent of eligible school construction costs through annual debt service aid. Construction projects in all five districts are at least partially eligible for state funds.
Here are the unofficial statewide figures gathered by the New Jersey School Boards Association from school districts and news articles:
Statewide amount proposed – $333,654,933
Statewide amount approved — $161,465,607
State funding proposed– $103,764,027 (State reimbursement through annual debt service aid equaling at least 40 percent of eligible costs)
State funding approved — $61,352,339
A synopsis of proposed construction projects follows:
Hackensack (Bergen County) – REJECTED
Construction of a new school building for grades seven through nine; construction of a new parking garage with 350 parking spaces; renovations and upgrades at existing schools throughout the district to accommodate expansion of full day Pre-K in neighborhood schools, and improvements to increase capacity across the district.
Total amount: $169,904,226
State funds: $41,388,670
Logan Township (Gloucester County) — APPROVED
Repairs and improvements to Center Square School and Logan Elementary/Middle School with no additional increase in taxes. Projects include roof replacement and exterior window replacement; site improvements including paving, additional parking spaces, and playgrounds. Upgrades include security vestibules, doors and a glass partition wall, conversion of showers to storage, and HVAC chiller replacement.
Total amount: $7,870,750
State funds: $3,148,300
Toms River Regional, Ocean County — APPROVED
Repair and restore facilities at 18 school buildings, including safety and security upgrades; improving accessibility through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units and controls; door and window replacements; renovating and upgrading high-wear and high-use areas such as science labs and playgrounds, and repair and repaving of parking lots and driveways.
Total amount: $147,148,269
State funds: $55,625,404
Warren Township, Somerset County — APPROVED
Repairs and improvements including boiler and pump replacements at A. L. Tomaso School, Mt. Horeb School and the Middle School; window replacement at the Central School; roof replacement at the Middle School; and HVAC upgrades at the A. L. Tomaso School and the Central School.
Total amount: $6,446,588
State funds: $2,578,635
Oxford Township, Warren County — PENDING
Planned improvements include security vestibule renovations, exterior door and window upgrades and exterior lighting and camera upgrades in the Pre-School-8th grade school. HVAC upgrades are also planned to replace the aging HVAC units and outdated operating system.
Total amount: $2,285,100
State funds: $1,023,018
Lafayette, Sussex County: Special Tie-Breaker Election
During the Nov. 6 general election, two school board write-in candidates tied with 63 votes each. Voters selected Erin J. Vogler during Tuesday’s special election.
The New Jersey School Boards Association is a federation of the state’s local boards of education and includes the majority of New Jersey’s charter schools as associate members. NJSBA provides training, advocacy and support to advance public education and promote the achievement of all students through effective governance.