According to unofficial election results, the majority of voters in the 12 communities served by the North Hunterdon-Voorhees Regional High School District approved the district’s bond referendum on Tuesday, November 8th. There is no debt service tax increase associated with the referendum, which funds necessary repairs and upgrades to both high schools in the district.
North Hunterdon-Voorhees Regional High School District Superintendent of Schools Jeffrey Bender expressed his thanks to the voters for their support of the district. He emphasized that the improvements are necessary to maintain a safe and effective learning environment.
“The two high schools in the district are in critical need of basic repairs and no-frills upgrades,” said Bender. “We are thankful that the voters in the communities served by the district recognized this referendum as an investment in our students by balancing educational needs, safety, and energy efficiency.”
At Voorhees High School, the approved referendum will fund the replacement of all of the school’s windows, renovate the library, replace visitors’ bleachers and ramp, and add ADA accessibility to the home bleachers. Projects funded at North Hunterdon High School include replacing a majority of the windows, adding a new HVAC system, renovating the library, replacing visitor/band and tennis bleachers, and upgrading the athletic field house.
The passage of the referendum will not raise the debt service tax because the Board of Education will make its final annual debt service payment on its bond from 2001 referendum this year, and the district is eligible to receive nearly 30 percent debt service aid from the state. Combined together, the result is that the new annual debt service payment will be less than the annual payment on the previous bond. The state aid reduces the taxpayer’s share of the $9.7 million project down to $6.85 million.
Voters rejected a referendum on the ballot in fall 2015. According to Mr. Bender, the district listened and changed the scope of the construction. “The passage of this referendum is so important,” explained Bender. “Our students – the children of the communities served by the district – are the direct beneficiaries of the projects.”
Construction on projects funded by the referendum is scheduled to begin in summer 2017 and all projects are slated for completion within the next two years.