In towns around New Jersey on Tuesday, voters decided on nine school bond referendums. Eight out of the nine passed to fund projects that will total more than $160 million in spending for renovations, upgrades, and new construction.
Five days during the year, school boards can ask voters to approve school construction proposals. The state will fund at least 40 percent of eligible school construction costs through annual debt service aid thanks to the Educational Facilities Construction and Financing Act. All of the referendums that passed are at least partially eligible for state funds, according to the NJ School Board Association.
According to the NJSBA, the projects that received voter approval are:
In Rutherford, the $45 million plan includes renovating high school science labs and adding them at Union Middle School. It also includes HVAC, electrical and plumbing upgrades.
At Rancocas Valley Regional High School in Burlington County, the nearly $22 million proposal includes fire and security upgrades and renovations of bathrooms, windows, HVAC and more.
In Oaklyn, Camden County, the bond referendum was for a new HVAC system and main entrance, as well as a roof, drains and windows for just under $4 million.
The Carteret School District in Middlesex County asked for $37 million to build a new junior high school for seventh and eighth grade and renovate multiple elementary schools.
Fair Haven schools in Monmouth County passed a referendum for more than $15 million to expand full-day kindergarten, renovate with a focus on STEAM courses and improve security and HVAC systems.
Rockaway Borough in Morris County got approval for expansion and renovation at an elementary school and middle school that will include classrooms, electrical, plumbing and HVAC work totaling about $12.5 million.
Watchung Hills Regional High School, which takes students from Somerset and Morris counties, will undergo renovations including upgrades to the media center and electrical system. The board says no new tax dollars will be needed for the nearly $4 million project thanks to other funds.
In Hawthorne, Passaic County, more than $24 million will go to upgrades and renovations to the media center, science lab, fire and electrical systems. There will also be asbestos removal, roof repairs and a boiler replacement.
The lone referendum to fail:
In Colts Neck, the $25 million proposal addressed indoor air quality by replacing the HVAC and electrical systems and removing asbestos flooring.