East Greenwich school bond to go to voters

Thursday, August 26, 2010
By Rebecca Forand

EAST GREENWICH TWP. A bond referendum for proposed renovations to the township's two schools will go before voters at the special school election Sept. 28, the school district has decided.

The township faces a growing population paired with two elementary schools that are close to their capacity. The Samuel Mickle School and the Jeffrey Clark School currently house approximately 1,000 students and their combined populations are expected to reach 1,500 by 2013.

The proposed renovations call for the addition of a pre-K classroom, four kindergarten classrooms and seven general classrooms to the Jeffrey Clark School and 14 classrooms, gym renovations and expansions to the offices and cafeteria at the Samuel Mickle School.

The district received a grant from the state for about $7 million for the project, which is estimated to cost approximately $25 million. The $18 million difference is what will be presented to the voters in the referendum. The impact on the taxpayers will be a $229 increase per year.

"For 63 cents a day, less than a Wawa cup of coffee, we can get your child a better school," said Antionette Grdinich, one of the members of the school board.

The board is advertising the referendum in order to get as many voters out to the polls on Sept. 28 as possible.

"We want to make sure that we can cash that check we got from the state," Superintendent Joseph Conroy said.

The board stressed that if the construction is not passed the district will most likely have to rent and utilize trailers to accommodate the growth of the student population. Trailers are estimated to cost $100,000 per trailer per year to rent.

"There's going to be an increase one way or another," Conroy said. "Let's put it toward something we will eventually own."

If the referendum is passed, construction could begin by March and is expected to take 14 months to complete.


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