Frequently Asked Questions
Referendum Vote: 3-14-2023
CURRICULAR / PROGRAMMATIC QUESTIONS
If successful, the referendum will allow our district to stabilize students in their assigned elementary schools for all academic programming. Additionally, the abatement of unhoused students will allow for programmatic development in the areas of computer science, cultural arts, robotics, and character education.
CONSTRUCTION / FACILITY QUESTIONS
(As of January 2023)
(As of January 2023)
(With no project)
(With successful project)
The March 2023 Referendum will allow for structural additions and augmentations at the Applegarth Elementary School, Monroe Township Middle School, and Monroe Township High School.
The structural additions and augmentations will allow for programmatic balancing and development throughout our entire district, in addition to reduced class sizes.
The March 2023 Referendum is designed to create:
Applegarth Elementary School: 17 classrooms, cafetorium, full-service kitchen, and conference/storage rooms.
Monroe Township Middle School: 21 classrooms, auxiliary cafeteria, conference, and utility rooms.
Monroe Township High School: 19 classrooms and a multipurpose physical education classroom.
Specific plans for managing safety for these projects will come after the project is designed. Bid documents will include hundreds of detailed drawings that will be utilized by the construction manager to engage and assist with the project’s safety management plans. These plans include safety plans, evacuation plans, and monitoring plans, including air quality management. Every precaution will be taken to ensure that the safety of all staff and students is always at the forefront of these projects.
We can proudly report that our district has removed +/- 98% of known asbestos-containing material, as documented in the AHERA management plan for the Applegarth Elementary School. As we have stated throughout our referendum community tour, there is the possibility that we may encounter an insulation elbow (or something similar) during renovation/refurbishment at the Applegarth School. If that were to occur, rest assured it would be handled safely and in accordance with AHERA guidelines. We deal with this regularly and successfully when conducting StopGap projects.
Additionally, we understand that there has been some misinformation regarding the boiler at AES. Please note that the boiler in our referendum project photos has NO asbestos insulation. Any asbestos was remediated adequately by the district in the late 1980s.
As for any unforeseen occurrences – cost estimates for the referendum projects that involve remediation or hazardous material removal are already built into the estimate. The estimated monies earmarked for this purpose may not be used – and if that is the case, they would be returned to our taxpayers! Our plan is considering a wide range of outcomes.
On another note, you might be happy to learn that the DI Group (the firm that has worked with us on this project) was just named “Firm of the Year”, by the AIA of New Jersey. This should give parents and residents confidence that we are working with reputable partners that have a long history of safe school projects. Check out the article here: https://digrouparchitecture.com/category/awards/
The cost breakdown for the project is:
Middle School: $39,873,112
High School: $13,800,430
If passed, the referendum will result in a projected $17.92 monthly increase ($215.00 annually) in taxes on the average assessed home in Monroe Township, which is currently valued at $331,000. Please use our tax calculator to see how our project will impact you personally: Click here.
The debt service aid from the state is expected to be approximately $17,440,000. This represents 40% of the total preliminary eligible costs, reduced by 15% to reflect the reduction in aid imposed on school districts over the past several years.
Since our project is primarily making facilities augmentations/additions to accommodate students over capacity, we anticipate a minimal need to add additional full-time, instructional/non-instructional staff members above what is annually budgeted for.
Our district is optimistic that if the referendum project is successful, we will be able to fulfill these needs while maintaining our ability to appropriately operate and evolve the organization within our 2% budgetary cap.
Historically, our district has avoided significant curricular and operational cuts (in spite of our municipal growth) thanks to creative programmatic and facility leadership. We remain committed to maintaining our endless progression of operational and pedagogical best practices as we mitigate our facility challenges; all while staying true to our budgetary obligations.
All voters registered in Monroe Township are eligible to participate in the referendum, as it functions like any other election that is conducted in our town. You can vote at all of your assigned polling locations.
Click here for a list of polling locations throughout Monroe Township: Polling Locations
N.J.S.A. 18A:24-12 allows for a bond referendum to be put on the ballot at either a school special election (January, March, September, or December) or at an annual election (held either in April or November). Our Township is not conducting an annual election in April, but rather in November. Based upon the timeline of the New Jersey Department of Education’s (NJDOE) approval of the referendum projects (January 9, 2023), the Board of Education elected to proceed with a special election in March in lieu of waiting until September or November. The additional months of delay would have caused a standard inflationary increase and pushed completion of construction thereby extending overcrowding impact on the educational program.
PROJECTING THE FUTURE
March 14 | Referendum successfully passes.
March 15-April 15 | Architect contracts structural designer, HVAC designer, etc.
March 15-May 15 | The MTSD and Architect hire Geotechnical Firm for soil borings. A geotechnical study is completed.
May 15-August 15 | Applications are made to various utilities (sewer/water, PSE&G, JCP&L) to plan for new upgraded utility services. Applications to Freehold Soils Conservation District. Applications to Middlesex County Planning Department.
August 2023 | 30% preliminary design drawings to be completed.
December 2023 | 65% preliminary design drawings to be completed. Resubmission to NJDOE for final Educator Adequacy Review & Approval.
May 2024 | Advertise three (3) months for bids.
July 2024 | Award bids. Local building permits one (1) month.
September 2026 | OCCUPANCY
If the referendum does not pass, the district and the Board of Education can call for another referendum at a later date. Alternatively, the district and the board of education can develop an alternate plan, which will require additional NJDOE approvals – resulting in delays and increased costs. The ability to expand and evolve programs will be impacted.
Have a question? Contact us at Referendum@Monroe.K12.NJ.US