PITTSGROVE TWP. — The Pittsgrove Township School District recently received a School Development Authority grant here that will cover more than 50 percent of a roof replacement project completed over the summer at the Arthur P. Schalick High School.
The funding comes from the School Development Authority’s (SDA) Regular Operating District (ROD) grant program, which assists non-Abbott school districts with major capital improvements that address health and safety issues, student overcrowding and other critical needs.
“The roof is over ten years old and it was starting to deteriorate in areas and repairs were needed,” said Superintendent Henry Bermann. “We applied for the grant in cooperation with Garrison Architects who designed the roof replacement and developed the specs.”
Bermann said the roof work was completed over the summer and finished more than a month ago.
“The roof was leaky in certain spots like the media center and some of the hallways and classrooms,” said Bermann. “The leaks were in more places then we wanted but it wasn’t to the point where we needed buckets or umbrellas.”
The push for a new roof stemmed from the district wanting to take a proactive approach to avoid moisture problems, he said.
“I’ve been told after the past couple rains there is no more spotted tiles,” said Bermann.
Along with a new roof, the district replaced 18 exhaust fans.
“They were over 30 years old,” he said.
The Pittsgrove School District will receive a $542,986 state grant to help finance the roof replacement project at the Arthur P. Schalick High School.
With the ROD grant, the state will be picking up 52 percent of the total cost of the roof replacement, estimated at $987,500.
“Aside from providing a much-needed repair, this grant will ensure that the burden of improving the high school is not shouldered entirely by property taxpayers,” said Assemblyman John J. Burzichelli. “Replacing a roof is one of the costliest capital projects a district can take on, and having this help from Trenton will go a long way.”
Bermann said the remaining cost, roughly $444,000, to complete the roof was bonded over a five-year period — something he said was much more manageable for the district than borrowing nearly $1 million for the entire cost of the roof.
“Borrowing for roughly $100,000 a year over five years for capital improvements is much more manageable for us,” Bermann said.
Since May 2010, the SDA has executed 704 ROD grants. The state has provided nearly $198 million in grants to local districts, leveraging projects estimated at a total of $434.7 million.
“This grant will ensure that Schalick High School remains a safe and secure learning environment for our children,” said Senate President Steve Sweeney. “I thank the SDA for partnering with Pittsgrove to make this vital improvement possible.”
Funding for the program was made available through the sale of $500 million in bonds by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA).
“While the students and staff at Schalick High School will be the direct beneficiaries of this work, property taxpayers will also be long-term winners,” said Assemblywoman Celeste Riley. “A new, modern roof also helps lower heating and cooling costs, and will allow the district to save money over time.”