Voters in three school districts approved school construction projects on March 12 totaling more than $28.2 million.
Improvements and additions were approved in Glen Rock, Bergen County; Manasquan, Monmouth County; and Lumberton, Burlington County.
Voters in Monroe Township, Middlesex County rejected proposals to build a new middle school and make additions to its high school. Voters also defeated plans in Florence, Burlington County to renovate elementary schools and improve athletic fields.
In Hillsborough, Somerset County voters also rejected a spending increase to preserve existing programs and class sizes while adding full-day kindergarten. Results are unofficial until they are certified by county clerks.
March 12 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. Most of the construction projects on Tuesday’s ballot are at least partially eligible for state funds.
Here are the statewide figures, tracking construction spending, gathered by the New Jersey School Boards Association from the school districts and the offices of the county clerks:
Statewide amount proposed – $199,143,693
Statewide amount approved — $28,246,608
State funding proposed – $38,651,525 (State reimbursement through annual debt service aid equaling at least 40 percent of eligible costs)
State funding approved — $10,709,467
A synopsis of the ballot questions follows:
Glen Rock (Bergen County) APPROVED
Renovations, alterations and improvements are proposed at the Central Elementary School, Glen Rock Middle/High School, and the Hamilton, Coleman and Byrd elementary schools.
Total amount: $14,718,320
State funds: $5,298,152
Florence (Burlington County) REJECTED
- Proposal 1: Security and HVAC upgrades are proposed for Roebling Elementary School; the Riverfront School and the Florence Memorial High School.
Total amount: $21,566,938
State funds: $8,382,775.2
- Proposal 2: (Contingent upon approval of Proposal 1): Construction of a new track and athletic field lighting; new playgrounds and a storage facility at three district schools.
Total amount: $2,612,500
State funds: $495,000
Lumberton (Burlington County) APPROVED
Security, health and safety needs will be addressed with renovations, alterations and improvements at Ashbrook Elementary School, Bobby’s Run School, Lumberton Middle School and Florence L. Walther Elementary.
Total amount: $4,881,288
State funds: $1,952,515
Monroe (Middlesex County) REJECTED
- Proposal 1: Construction of a new middle school on land located at 254 Applegarth Rd., Monroe.
Total amount: $75,687,629
State funds: $7,516,073
- Proposal 2: (Contingent upon approval of Proposal 1): An addition to Monroe Township High School, including classrooms, science labs, special education classrooms, an auxiliary gymnasium, a satellite kitchen and cafeteria.
Total amount: $71,030,018
State funds: $11,548,210
Manasquan (Monmouth County) APPROVED
Health and safety improvements at Manasquan High School including replacement of the HVAC and fire alarm systems.
Total amount: $8,647,000
State funds: $3,458,800
Hillsborough (Somerset County) REJECTED
Voters are being asked to approve an additional $8,094,108 for the 2019-2020 school year. These taxes will be used to provide funds to maintain levels of programs and class size. The money will also be used to implement a full-day kindergarten program, including the employment of additional personnel, the acquisition of supplies, and the payment of the initial set up and lease of temporary classrooms. The tax increase would offset an anticipated decrease in state aid of $5.35 million over the next six years.