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Bond Referendum Passes to Fund Upgrades to Springfield Schools
By TAPinto Springfield Staff,
SPRINGFIELD, NJ -- With all 14 districts having reported their results, both questions on Springfield's bond referendum passed decisively in Tuesday's special election.
With the results in, but not officially certified yet by the Union County Clerk's office, almost 79 percent voted yes on Bond Proposal Question No. 1, and 75 percent voted yes on Bond Proposal Question No. 2.
With all districts reporting as of 8:45 p.m., the results from 573 ballots cast represented 4.3 percent of Springfield's registered voters.
"We understand the weather has been a challenge, and are deeply grateful to all of those folks that braved it to come out to vote," Dr. Rachel Goldberg, Springfield's superintendent of schools, told TAPinto Springfield late Tuesday afternoon, before the polls had closed.
The $32.9 million bond referendum will fund infrastructure upgrades, building repairs and renovations, and safety and security updates.
State aid that is only available through a voter-approved bond referendum would cover 33 percent of the cost of the projects.
Because existing debt from previous improvements is scheduled to retire, the first bond question was tax neutral, meaning no new school debt tax increase for residents. For Question 2 on the ballot, taxpayers will see an increase of less than $8 in the debt service tax levy for a home assessed at the Township of Springfield’s average of $553,097 as a result of Tuesday’s election.
The first question covered funding, with no tax increase, for:
-Safety and security upgrades - for all five buildings - that are the new standard in schools, including cameras that capture better quality footage, are motion activated, and connect to a cloud-based video system that police and school staff can access during emergencies, and new exterior doors with ballistic glazing for added protection.
-New heating and ventilation for classrooms, as well as air-conditioning for larger spaces, such as cafeterias, gyms, and media centers; and electrical systems that would support these system upgrades.
-Bathroom renovations to improve plumbing and sewer systems and the upgrade of older bathroom fixtures to more efficient ones.
The second question served to extend the scope of the work in the first question, and includes funding, with a "slight tax increase," for additional projects:
-Air-conditioning upgrades for classrooms at each of the five district schools.
-Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) upgrades to art and music rooms as well as some conference rooms and bathrooms, and a backup boiler for Sandmeier.
-Refreshing the gyms at Dayton and Gaudineer schools by replacing the windows with translucent panels to support consistent temperatures without minimizing natural lighting.
Dr. Goldberg is expected to provide a reaction statement on the results of the election on Wednesday.