TRENTON, September 25, 2014—Voters in 21 New Jersey school districts will go to the polls next Tuesday to act on school construction projects ranging from classroom additions to high school athletic facilities and from security and heating system upgrades to science labs.

Proposals totaling approximately $386 million will appear on ballots across the state on Sept. 30 in one of the busiest special election days in recent years. [A district-by-district summary of the referendums is at the end of this news release.]

Most of the projects, if approved, would receive state funding to cover part of the cost, many taking advantage of additional state school construction grants announced last year. The state gives priority to projects that address health and safety, such as roof and window replacement, compliance with construction code and the Americans with Disabilities Act, some security enhancements, and hazardous material abatement. Under the Educational Facilities and Construction and Financing Act of 2000, the state will fund at least 40 percent of eligible school construction costs through upfront grants, if available, or yearly debt service aid.

Continuing a trend that started after the December 2012 Newtown, Connecticut school shootings, at least a dozen of the 21 proposals include security upgrades, such as vestibule/entry alterations, access controls and security cameras.

Several districts are putting forth multi-part referendums that combine additional classroom space, HVAC systems and security measures in one question, with proposed athletic facilities in separate, additional propositions. Most aspects of athletic facilities are not eligible for state funding.

The September 30 bond referendums will take place in Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Somerset, Sussex and Warren.

The last Tuesday in September is one of five dates on which a school board may propose a bond issue to voters. For the remainder of this year, construction proposals may be placed on the November 4 General Election ballot (for those districts that elect school board members in November) and on December 9.

Summary of Proposals


Total amount proposed – $386,206,410
Total amount eligible for state reimbursement – $140,716,372 (State reimbursement may include up-front school construction grants, or payments of annual debt service aid.)


Security and safety upgrades, HVAC upgrades, roof replacement at Community School.

Total amount: $7,380,085
State funds: $3,005,483


Improvements to High School and Highland Avenue/Godwin Elementary School, including window replacement, HVAC upgrades, electrical work, security upgrades, ADA compliance, plumbing work.

Total amount: $11,509,807
State funds: $2,859,807
Allocation from capital reserve: $150,000

Security improvement, window replacements, other upgrades at three schools.

Total amount: $3,012,564
State funds: $1,205,026

HVAC replacements, renovation of science labs, new exterior doors, access controls and other improvements.

Total amount: $13,819,913
State funds: $5,527,965
Anticipated revenue from sale of building: $1,500,000


Boiler, HVAC, and window replacement.

Total amount: $2,723,661
State funds: $1,691,925

Proposal 1 Improvements and renovations to four schools, including secure vestibules at the elementary, intermediate and middle schools, new classrooms, roof replacement, HVAC upgrades and security/telecommunications upgrades at the high school, and fire alarms and sprinkler systems at several of the buildings.

Amount of Proposal 1: $33,298,157
State funds: $11,797,300

Proposal 2 (contingent upon voter approval of Proposal 1) – New high school gymnasium.

Amount of Proposal 2: $6,750,125
Not eligible for state funding

Proposal 3(contingent upon voter approval of Proposals 1 and 2) – Construction of tennis courts at high school.

Amount of proposal 3: $750,000
Not eligible for state funding

Proposal 1 – Renovation, repair, retro-fitting, replacement and rehabilitation of existing building systems or site improvements at six facilities, including new roofs, HVAC systems, security enhancements and curriculum-related technology upgrades.

Amount of Proposal 1: $37,651,091
State funds: $13,784,436

Proposal 2 (contingent upon approval of Proposal 1) Renovations to athletic complex including installation of artificial turf, improvements to the high school theater, and paving at several schools.

Amount of Proposal 2: $5,236,913
Not eligible for state funding

Air conditioning systems at three schools, emergency generator.

Total amount: $7,535,000
State funds: $3,014,000


Proposal 1 – Roofing, HVAC upgrades, safety and security enhancements, ADA compliance at high school, and four elementary schools.

Amount of Proposal 1:  $40,221,527
State funds: $14,346,506

Proposal 2 (contingent upon approval of Proposal 1) – Major upgrades to athletic facilities, including new turf, dugouts, fencing and lighting, as well bleacher repairs and ADA compliance.

Amount of Proposal 2: $4,543,750
Not eligible for state funding


Proposal 1 – A six-classroom addition to middle school “Save” program to reduce out-of-district placement, HVAC upgrades at high school and middle school, window and door replacements, new lighting and flooring.

Amount of Proposal 1: $20,781,875
State funds: $10,200,854

Proposal 2 (contingent upon approval of Proposal 1) – Concession and restrooms building at athletic field.

Amount of Proposal 2: $1,500,000
Not eligible for state funding

Proposal 3 (contingent upon approval of Proposals 2 and 3) – Artificial turf field improvements.

Amount of Proposal 3: $1,625,000
Not eligible for state funding

Improvements to four schools including roof replacement and repair, technology upgrades for the educational program, secure-entry vestibules, and security cameras.

Total amount: $26,900,450
State funds: $12,633,294

Proposal 1 – Improvements to five schools, including security upgrades, energy-efficient enhancements; construction of an early childhood education addition at an elementary school.

Amount of Proposal 1: $16,784,065
State funds: $5,157,375

Proposal 2 (contingent upon approval of Proposal 1) – Artificial turf fields at high school.

Amount of Proposal 2: $1,275,000
Not eligible for state funding


Various improvements to elementary school, including boiler conversion and HVAC upgrades, roof and window replacements and bathroom renovations.

Total amount: $2,255,000
State funds: $902,000


High school classroom/computer lab addition, Pre-K classroom addition, and various improvements such as security upgrades, technological infrastructure enhancements.

Total amount: $10,116,900
State funds: $4,832,700


Improvements, renovations and additions to accommodate enrollment growth at Park Avenue Elementary/Middle School and Freehold Learning Center including new classrooms, gymnasium, girls’ locker room, library and cafeteria.

Total amount: $32,902,400
State funds: $12,502,912


New classrooms, new gym/multi-purpose room built above floodplain level, safety upgrades and various other improvements.

Total amount: $4,291,310
State funds: $761,307
Donation from Bay Head School Foundation: $470,430
Insurance recovery funds: $247,930
Allocation from capital reserve: $272,950

HVAC upgrades, roof replacements, various improvements to district schools; also, refinancing of outstanding lease-purchase obligation.

Total amount: $34,471,401 ($29.5 million for construction project; $5.2 to refinance lease-purchase)
State funds: $11,748,560

Improvements at five schools, including new roofing, construction of secure vestibules/entryways, security cameras, HVAC upgrades.

Total amount: $15,480,257
State funds: $6,192,103


Proposal 1 – Purchase and renovation of two former parochial schools for use as public schools and various improvements and upgrades at all district schools.

Amount of Proposal 1: $27,140,573
State funds: $16,650,094

Proposal 2 (contingent upon approval of Proposal 1) – Construction of a community fitness center.

Amount of Proposal 2: $3,070,050
State funds: $1,120,805


Addition to the elementary school to accommodate 7th and 8th grade students, who currently attend school in Port Jervis, New York under a “sending-receiving” arrangement.

Total amount: $3,258,452
State funds: $781,920


Conversion of a former high school to a middle school; conversion of an elementary school to an administration building, construction of a field house and athletic fields. Project will involve two school closings.

Total amount: $9,921,084

The conversion of the high school was potentially eligible for full state funding. However, the school board indicated that it considered the lack of current state funding, the uncertainty over future funding and the need to proceed with the projects. As a result, it is seeking to undertake the projects without state financial support.

The New Jersey School Boards Association is a federation of 581 local boards of education and includes 81 charter school associate members. NJSBA provides training, advocacy and support to advance public education and promote the achievement of all students through effective governance.