HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - Voters will be asked to approve a $35.4 million referendum on Dec. 10th that would pay for building improvements at the district's nine school buildings and to retire outstanding debt from previous referendums.
If the referendum is approved, it would mean a $42 reduction in taxes for the average Hillsborough residence with a property value of $350,000, according to Michael Callahan, Human Resources director for Hillsborough Schools.
The nine-member school board approved the referendum unanimously at its Oct. 14th meeting.
The state Department of Education will contribute 40 percent of the cost, approximately $14 million, but only if the referendum is approved by voters, according to Callahan.
"The proceeds from the referendum would be utilized to pay for critical infrastructure and capital improvements," Callahan said. "Unlike a previous referendum which failed this past March, Full-Day Kindergarten is not linked to this referendum.
"Additionally there is no consideration for the building of any new school in this referendum," he added.
Officials have been considering construction of a second high school in the township.
Projects across the nine schools would include roofing, air quality (HVAC), power and lighting upgrades exterior repairs and security.
Specifics regarding the work to be done at each school can be found online at www.htps.us/repair_replace_revive
“The quality of life for our students, staff and the community is key and never before has it been more opportune to invest in that quality of life," said Acting Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lisa M. Antunes.
"The retired debt, state contribution, and low interest rates create a unique opportunity to revive a failing infrastructure,” said School Business Administrator Aiman Mahmoud “The finances on this make sense .It would be fiscally irresponsible not to take advantage of the state contributions that are above our normal share.”
A series of public events and forums as well as facility tours are planned leading up to the Dec.10th referendum, according to Callahan.
“I hope the community will educate itself about the facility needs of the district and reach out with additional questions," said Judy Haas, president of the Board of Education.
"There are multiple opportunities to attend community meetings scheduled both during the day and the evening over the next 60 days," she added.
A full presentation is scheduled at the Nov. 11th Board of Education meeting.
Questions can be submitted and meetings can be requested online at www.htps.us/repair_replace_revive.