Bernards Board of Education Receives Update on Facilities Projects in the District

The new running track at Ridge High School is installed and already being used. Credits: Gene Robbins

BERNARDS TOWNSHIP, NJ - Facilities projects at some Bernards Township schools were completed or well underway before the academic year began Tuesday.

Completed this summer were a new heating/cooling systems and a security upgrade at Oak Street School at nearly $1.5 million, and a new running track at Ridge High at a price tag of $330,000. 

Other projects in progress or pending are a pitched roof at Oak Street School at $1 million, a $2.2 million laboratory project and $2.3 million in heating/ventilation work at William Annin School, a $3.65 million cafeteria for Ridge High and an estimated $1 million in drainage work around high school sports fields.

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The Annin heating/cooling job is expected to go to bid this fall and be finished next summer.

At their Aug. 28 meeting, school board members heard an update of the work and funding under the capital plan.

Spiezle Engineering analyzed architectural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection facilities in a 109-page report dating back to December 2011. The study identified 147 projects totaling $21.5 million. Six other projects were added in the last five years. A capital projects plan was adopted in 2014.

Including this summer’s work, 45 projects costing about $15.1 million have been completed.

Artificial turf for Lee Field at Ridge High School was replaced in the summer of 2015.  In a related note, the school board accepted a $10,442 donation from the Ridge Touchdown Club to upgrade the stadium’s sound system.

The girls’ varsity softball field was renovated in the summer of 2016.

The school is paying for the improvements with money transferred from its capital account, nearly $2 million in state grants and money from the current year’s budget. Projects have been completed so far have come in $2 million under estimate because the school acted as its own contractor in many cases, said Business Administrator Rod McLaughlin.

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