On Tuesday, March 10, voters in four school districts will act on spending proposals totaling nearly $281.6 million.
In Middlesex County, Edison is seeking voter approval to borrow nearly $183.2 million to ease overcrowding and improve safety, and Woodbridge is seeking approval to spend about $87.7 million to build a new elementary school, provide additional classrooms, athletic facilities and security upgrades.
Belmar wants voters to okay about $9.7 million for renovations and upgrades at the elementary school, and South Harrison is seeking approval to spend $1 million to replace the gym flooring at South Harrison Elementary School.
March 10 is one of five dates during the year when school boards may ask voters to approve school construction. 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 four school districts are 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 – $281,589,328
State funding proposed – $48,853,319
A synopsis of the proposed spending plans follows:
South Harrison (Gloucester County)
The district is seeking to replace the gym floor in the South Harrison Elementary School. School officials say the floor contains mercury that, under certain conditions, can emit vapor that could be harmful to children.
Total amount: $1,000,000
State funds: $400,000
Edison (Middlesex County)
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 is asking 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 Edison and Stevens high schools, the proposed project includes new classrooms and state-of-the-art science laboratories. If approved, other classrooms and facilities will be built to serve the needs of students at the elementary and middle school levels.
Total amount: $183,193,000
State funds: $31,083,780
Woodbridge (Middlesex County)
The district is seeking voter approval to build and equip a new Avenel Elementary school to replace Avenel Street School and it wants to add and upgrade classrooms, add athletic facilities, make site improvements, and upgrade safety and security. Work is planned at all of the district’s schools.
Total amount: $87,718,000
State funds: $13,498,208
Belmar (Monmouth County)
Voter approval is being sought to repair and upgrade facilities at the Belmar Elementary School. Repairs will include new seats, floors, lights and sound equipment for the auditorium; $6.6 million in HVAC improvements, including new ventilators, a control system, and upgrades to the electrical system. Repairs also include the removal of asbestos and the replacement of windows to improve energy efficiency.
Total amount: $9,678,328
State funds: $3,871,331