Contact: Laura Bishop
September 4, 2018
Jefferson Township Voters to Consider School Bond Referendum
Renovations to Ensure Students Are 21st Century Ready
LAKE HOPATCONG, NJ – On October 2, 2018, voters in Jefferson Township will vote on a referendum that would provide much needed renovations to Jefferson Township Public Schools’ seven school buildings, and ensure current and future students are prepared for the 21st Century workplace.
“The scope of the $9.935 million bond referendum was shaped by our recent strategic planning process approved by the board in April 2017,” explained Jefferson Township Public Schools Board of Education President Jill VanNess. “During the planning process, we identified the need for improvements and upgrades among the district’s facilities not only to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors, but especially, to equip our students to be 21st Century Learners.”
The projects to be funded would be eligible for up to 40% of state aid, but only for a voter-approved bond referendum. This state funding would greatly reduce the impact on Jefferson Township taxpayers. The funding is not available for projects completed under the school district’s regular budget.
“In addition to available state aid, there are additional fiscally sound and favorable financial factors that make this a good time for the referendum,” explained VanNess, “including historically low-interest rates and relatively stable construction costs.”
According to Jeanne Howe, Superintendent of Jefferson Township Public Schools, the referendum is a no-frills renovation project that would provide for, among other improvements:
- New fire alarms, intercom systems, interior doors, and flooring where needed at all of the district schools, as well as upgraded bathrooms.
- Asbestos removal and abatement, and exterior building repairs where necessary.
- New roof, three modernized science classrooms, a remodeled technology lab, and renovated locker rooms at Jefferson Township High School (JTHS).
- Improvements to seven new classrooms, the media center, locker rooms, and ventilation system for C-Wing classrooms at Jefferson Township Middle School (JTMS).
- Makerspaces for JTHS, JTMS, and Stanlick and White Rock Elementary Schools.
The total referendum amount would be allocated to each school, based on the projects to be included: $4,707,625 allocated to JTHS, $2,471,720 to JTMS, $695,160 to Briggs Elementary School, $396,800 to Cozy Lake Elementary School, $126,800 to Milton Elementary School, $577,840 to Arthur Stanlick Elementary School, and $959,055 to White Rock Elementary School.
“All of the projects included in the bond referendum would directly improve the learning environment in our buildings,” said Howe, “and provide us with the opportunity to ensure our students are not just adequately prepared for the 21st Century workplace, but are enabled to become life-long learners, productive workers, and responsible and contributing citizens.”
To be eligible to participate in the October 2, 2018 bond referendum, community members must be registered to vote by September 11, 2018. If you already are registered, there is no need to register again. More information about the referendum, as well as voter registration forms and applications for vote-by-mail ballots are available on the district’s website at www.jefftwp.org, or at the Morris County Clerk’s website at www.morriscountyclerk.org.