Little Egg district completes project
$25.7 million renovations are on time, under budget

April 9, 2009 By PAULA SCULLY, STAFF WRITER, Asbury Park Press

Officials in the elementary school district have announced that $25.7 million worth of school referendum projects have been completed on time and under budget.

Little Egg Harbor School District Superintendent Frank Kasyan said the voters approved two referendums one in 2006 and the other in 2008 to refurbish and reconfigure the district's two schools into state standard preschool through sixth grade facilities.

"I think there is a question in the community as we move toward the (vote on the) 2009-10 budget about where the money has gone, and it has been used very efficiently and cost effectively," he said.

The district took out a 25-year loan and received 49.878 percent in state aid to pay off the debt service.

"That's like having your mortgage paid," said Brooks W. Garrison, of Garrison Architects in Mount Laurel, at a press conference Thursday at the district offices.

Superintendent Frank Kasyan and Assistant Superintendent Barbara Smith note the new doors in the Little Egg Harbor Intermediate School. (STAFF PHOTOS: SHAWN HUBER)

Kasyan explained that the people of Little Egg Harbor have gotten their money's worth in the projects and in their fair share of state aid.

"It's all taxpayer money in these state aid packages," Kasyan said. "If we didn't apply for it, another district would. The people of Little Egg Harbor are getting money they could have lost to other districts if they had not approved the projects when the money was available."

The George J. Mitchell School, built in 1950, currently educates children through third grade, and the Intermediate School, built in 1989, educates fourth through sixth-graders.

But sales of four-bedroom single family homes burgeoned in the township after the year 2000, and demographic studies projected a surge in school population.

Kasyan said he never believed the demographic projections of 1,900 students by 2009-10 school. He said this school year the district has 1,741 pupils and he estimates that next year the district will have slightly more than 1,800 children.

The district also was awarded $3.4 million in early childhood aid to help pay for temporary classrooms and also instruction, materials and transportation to accommodate a preschool population of 410 students. The district expects 310 preschoolers next year.

"That money is outside the general budget," Kasyan said. "It does not impact Little Egg Harbor taxpayers at all."

Additional Facts

Little Egg Harbor Elementary School District voters approved two referendums, one on Dec. 13, 2006, and the other on March 11, 2008, for a total of $25.7 million to refurbish and reconfigure the district's two schools into preschool through sixth-grade schools. Both referendums received 49.878 percent in New Jersey debt service school aid.

The George J. Mitchell School on Route 539 currently educates preschool through third-graders and the Little Egg Harbor Intermediate School on Frog Pond Road currently educates fourth through sixth-graders.

District enrollment projections for the 2009-10 school year are slightly more than 1,800 students.

Four separate contractors completed the projects under budget and on time while installing energy reducing systems, adding Photo Volatic Solar Renewable Energy Systems and expanding school facilities to meet Department of Education standards for the current enrollment.


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