MANVILLE – Voters will go to the polls Jan. 25 to decide whether to approve a $3.95 million bond referendum for improvements to borough schools.
The projects in the referendum include boiler and roof replacements at Weston School; an auditorium conversion to the multipurpose room at Weston School; HVAC installation in the gym and auditorium at Weston School; and kitchen floor replacements at Manville High School and Alexander Batcho Intermediate School.
Because of state aid and surplus capital funds, passage of the referendum would have zero impact on property taxes, according to the Board of Education.
The school district expects to receive $1.85 million in debt service aid from the state that would only be available if the referendum is approved.
The district will fund through its capital reserves about 53%, $2.09 million, of the project's total cost
The board said the district has been building its capital reserve fund for several years.
In the past three years, the district has annually budgeted $1.68 million to fund critical upgrades to schools.
In this school year, the district has funded improvements to the stadium, athletic fields and locker rooms at Manville High School. In addition, the district funded renovations to classrooms at Weston and Roosevelt schools and Cafeteria B at the high school.
The district serves more than 1,600 students in pre-K through eighth grade in four schools.
The board's referendum committee has explored options for expansion and renovations throughout the district over the past three years.
Voter approval will allow the district to begin the bid and construction process immediately. If approved by voters, work would start in June and should be completed before the 2022-2023 school year, according to district officials.
If voters reject the referendum, the district will be responsible for 100% of the cost and undertake the work over a longer period. Also, the district would not be able to take advantage of the service aid from the state.
Vote-by-mail ballots are available, and polls will be open for in-person voting on Jan. 25 at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Main Hall at 600 Washington Ave.
This article originally appeared on MyCentralJersey.com: Manville NJ to hold referendum on $4 million in school improvements