RANDOLPH, NJ- For some Randolph residents, it has been a busy week on social media, filled with many comments, questions, and debates regarding the upcoming Randolph Schools Referendum vote. This activity, along with many other community members reaching out to the schools directly with questions, has led to a special meeting being scheduled for the first hour of the regular board meeting, from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday Sept. 20.
Board of Education President Ron Conti stated on a Facebook post, "I'd like to clarify a few points about the proposed referendum":
1. While many Randolph residents don't have students in the school system, I, personally feel that a high achieving, well maintained school district is important to every community member. It is something all residents can be proud of, improves demand for the town, and increases property values.
2. As the name implies, the multipurpose room will be used for multiple purposes; which may include a variety of school group and organization meetings, RHS and RMS Physical Education, academic interests such as sports medicine, dance, gymnastics and color guard.
3. The new weight room would be larger and able to accommodate more people, with multiple groups using the room at a given time (such as co-ed weight training, PE classes and multiple teams to name a few). Moving the weight room from the RHS building to the student activity center will also free up much needed space inside RHS.
4. Not only would physical security be improved by the use of the Field House during events on Bauer Field; fire safety would be improved through the new concession stand.
5. In addition, the building would benefit:
* RMS & RHS Students that use the field for PE (weather permitting)
* Elementary school and Middle School during field days
* Community groups such as Rec Sports (during boys and girls Lax, rec track meets and practices)
* Community events such as the Randolph Rocks 5K
* High School events such as Football Games, Under the Stars
6. The state has cut aid and it's expected to continue to cut the district aid. Although the state has not committed one way or another to continue the 40% reimbursement; if the state is ok cutting our aid, what else will they cut?
7. I personally feel that pushing another referendum vote would not be the appropriate action of the BoE. A more responsible move would be to determine exactly why the vote failed (Was the field house too large? Should the referendum have more multipurpose space and less science renovations?). After studying the events, the public would need to be engaged and finally propose a new referendum.