Voters approve Gateway construction


Wednesday, December 10, 2003

By Brian Arrington

WOODBURY HEIGHTS -- The $15 million bond referendum designed by Garrison Architects to upgrade and expand Gateway Regional High School was overwhelmingly approved by voters by a 2-1 margin Tuesday.
The measure was approved 997 - 465.

Absentee ballots have yet to be counted and the election still needs to be certified before the results are official, said Superintendent Joyce Stumpo.
"We were surprised at the turn out," she said. "It was an overwhelming vote of confidence for their schools."

Residents from Woodbury Heights, National Park, Wenonah and Westville -- the towns in which students of the 40-year-old school attend -- voted on the referendum which will fund several projects like air-conditioning installation, a parking lot enlargement, sport facility upgrades and additional classrooms.
The measure passed in all four towns, according to Gateway Regional Business Administrator Gar Keepers.

Gateway officials said the state will pay $6.2 million, or 41.5 percent of costs, to help lessen the taxpayer impact of the projects.

Based on National Park's average assessed property value of $81,806, residents there would pay $99.87 annually to fund renovations. In Wenonah, the owner of a home assessed at the borough average of $161,061 would contribute $177.55, while Westville owners of properties assessed at $86,291 would pay $92.81. Woodbury Heights homeowners would pay $129.17 based on the average assessed property value of $140,401.

Construction on a 15,900-square-foot addition, parking spaces and athletic facility upgrades could begin this summer and be completed by September 2005, Stumpo said.

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