Construction approved in 7 South Jersey school districts

By Rita Giordano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Posted: October 03, 2014

Residents gave their approval to capital projects in seven of the eight South Jersey school districts that put them up to a vote Tuesday. Statewide, 17 of 21 districts' school construction proposals were approved - totaling more than $300 million. It was not full approval in every case. Some districts with multiple ballot questions, including Cinnaminson, Haddon Township, Delsea Regional, and West Deptford, had their core proposals accepted, but secondary proposals rejected.

Moorestown voters approved both proposals put before them. The first, for $37,651,091 and eligible for $13,784,436 in state funds, will allow far-ranging repairs, replacements, and improvements in all six district schools, including security upgrades. The second, for $5,236,913, will enable renovations to the athletic complex, improvements to the high school  theater, and paving at several schools.

In a memorandum on the district's website, Board of Education President Don Mishler thanked the community. "I have always said the Moorestown schools, with the limited amount of funding we receive from sources other than our taxpayers, have the finest facilities of a school district of our size and type," Mishler wrote. "This project will assure that we will continue in this position for years to come."

Beverly voters approved $2,723,661 for boiler and heating and air-conditioning improvements and window replacement. The district is eligible for $1,691,925 from the state.

Cinnaminson voters gave their approval to $33,298,157 in district-wide improvements and renovations, including secure vestibules. The overall proposal is eligible for $11,797,000 in state aid. A second proposal for a new high school gymnasium, at $6,750,125, also was approved, but a $750,000 proposal for high school tennis courts failed.

Southampton won approval for air-conditioning systems at three schools and an emergency generator at $7,535,000. That proposal is eligible for $3,014,000 from the state.

Haddon Township's $40,221,527 proposal for roofing, system upgrades, security enhancement, and handicapped-access compliance passed. It is eligible for $14,346,506 from the state. However, a proposal for $4,543,750 for major upgrades to athletic facilities was turned down.

Delsea Regional got voter approval for a $20,781,875 project that includes an addition to the middle school with more classrooms, heating and cooling system upgrades, window and door replacement, and new lighting and floors. That qualifies for $10,200,854 from the state. However, voters rejected a $1.5 million proposal for concessions and other improvements at the athletic field, as well as a $1.63 million proposal for artificial-turf field improvements.

West Deptford's core proposal for improvements to five schools, including security upgrades, energy-efficiency improvements, and construction of an early childhood education addition to an elementary school, passed. A $16,784,065 project, it is eligible for $5,157,375 from the state. The voters, however, turned down a $1.26 million proposal for artificial-turf fields at the high school

Web Editors Note: Garrison Architects provided planning and design services to the Moorestown, Cinnaminson, Haddon Township and Delsea Regional School Districts that are referenced in the news artice.

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