Voters in five districts on Dec. 10 approved school construction projects totaling $97.4 million. Ballot initiatives were defeated in five districts.
Results, obtained from county clerks and school district offices, are unofficial until they are certified by the county clerks.
In Oceanport, Monmouth County, voters approved construction of a new media center and a reconfiguration of classrooms to allow a new wing to be devoted to science, technology, engineering, the arts and math (STEAM). Voters in Dunellen, Middlesex County, authorized construction of new classrooms, a STEAM lab and a “techno center.” Most of the approved requests in other districts will fund security upgrades or replace aging facilities.
In Edison, Middlesex County, voters rejected a $189.5 million proposal to construct new science labs and classrooms to relieve overcrowding. Two construction proposals in Moorestown, Burlington County, were defeated.
Dec. 10 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% of eligible school construction costs through annual debt service aid. Proposed construction projects in all 10 school districts were at least partially eligible for state funds.
Here are the statewide figures gathered by the New Jersey School Boards Association from the offices of the county clerks:
Statewide amount proposed – $336,769,869
State funding proposed – $87,654,646
Statewide amount approved — $97,446,189
State funding approved — $41,448,127
A synopsis of the proposed spending plans follows:
North Arlington (Bergen County) REJECTED
The spending plan would have included construction of security vestibules at all six schools, with facility renovations, including roof repairs and replacement of boilers. An addition for a gymnasium would have been built for the Jefferson Elementary School.
Total amount: $9,998,851
State funds: $2,512,806
Moorestown (Burlington County) REJECTED
Proposal 1: Building upgrades would have included security systems, generator replacement and new HVAC systems throughout the district, and construction of new classrooms and an addition to the gymnasium at the middle school.
Total amount: $22,673,138
State funds: $7,022,206
Proposal 2 (Contingent upon approval of Proposal 1): Replacement of 50-year-old student lockers, a full-sized gym addition at the middle school and upgraded electrical and fire alarm systems and asbestos abatement.
Total amount: $3,539,125
State funds: $142,700
Delaware Township (Hunterdon County) APPROVED
Electrical upgrades; heating and ventilation system replacement; installation of emergency generator; removal and above-ground replacement of an underground oil tank; interior renovations and upgrade of security.
Total amount: $2,820,000
State funds: $1,100,000
Dunellen (Middlesex County) APPROVED
At Faber Elementary School, voters approved construction of a six-classroom addition, roof replacement and central heating/air conditioning additions to the cafeteria and the second floor. At Dunellen High School, the district will construct a new science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math (STEAM) laboratory and a new “techno” center with complete renovations of the auditorium, art room, band room, choir room, cafeteria, gymnasium and other spaces.
Total amount: $23,800,000
State funds: $15,200,000
Edison (Middlesex County) REJECTED
To satisfy educational program needs, address overcrowding, ensure a safe and secure learning environment, provide for facilities infrastructure needs and eliminate education in trailers, the district had asked to expand, renovate and upgrade Lincoln Elementary School, John Marshall Elementary School, James Madison Intermediate School, John Adams Middle School, Edison High School and John P. Stevens High School. At the Stevens High School, the proposed project included 33 new classrooms and six state-of-the-art science laboratories. At Edison High School, 15 new classrooms and three state-of-the-art science laboratories would have been among the upgrades. Other classrooms and facilities would have been built to serve the needs of students at the elementary and middle school levels.
Total amount: $189,500,000
State funds: $31,083,780
Oceanport (Monmouth County) APPROVED
Renovations, upgrades and expansion for the Wolf Hill Elementary School and the Maple Place Middle School. At Wolf, projects will include a media center and cafeteria addition; reconfiguration of space to provide additional classrooms and security enhancements. At Maple Place, existing classrooms will be reconfigured to create a new wing devoted to science, technology, engineering, the arts and math (STEAM). Upgrades will be made to the cafetorium, gymnasium, along with security enhancements, HVAC upgrades and a new fire sprinkler system.
Total amount: $33,154,890
State funds: $10,169,828
Long Beach Island Consolidated School District (Ocean County) REJECTED
Renovations, alterations, improvements and upgrades at the Long Beach Island Grade School, would have included related work, fixtures, equipment and site work.
Total amount: $7,680,516
State funds: $3,072,206
Oldmans Twp. (Salem County) APPROVED
Project costs will cover stormwater system improvements, sidewalk repairs, a new playground, new ceilings, asbestos abatement, cafeteria upgrades and installation of a new security communication system.
Total amount: $2,254,559
State funds: $811,602
Upper Pittsgrove (Salem County) REJECTED
The district had proposed upgrades to keep its students warm, safe, and dry. To keep students warm, the district would have upgraded to a heat pump system with rooftop units. To keep students safe, a new security system would have been added with new door access controls, and upgrades to fire and burglar alarm systems. A roof replacement would have kept students dry and bathrooms would have been upgraded to make them compliant with federal law.
Total amount: $5,932,050
State funds: $2,372,820
Hillsborough Twp. (Somerset County) APPROVED
District-wide improvements will include heating and ventilation replacement, electrical upgrades and emergency lighting system replacement, stucco improvements, interior renovations, roof replacement, asphalt repaving, sidewalk and curb replacement, and air conditioning in certain areas that are not currently air-conditioned. Security will be upgraded at all schools, including secure entry and security vestibules.
Total amount: $35,416,740
State funds: $14,166,696