CHATHAM, NJ - Chatham resident Bill Heap came before the board during the public portion of the meeting on Monday night and asked the Chatham Board of Education to reconsider its move to spend capital reserve funds on a new central office building.
The BOE has approved plans to spend $2.1 million in capital reserve funds to build new central offices that would house administrative offices and the special services department.
The special services building on Lafayette Avenue has been deemed uninhabitable because of termite infestation in the basement and is set to be demolished. The BOE has yet to determine whether the new building will replace the old one or be constructed behind gym C at the high school.
The five special services members moved to the Chatham Township Municipal Building last month, where the BOE rents offices for $60,000 a year.
Bill Heap said he drove from the high school to the board offices on Meyersville road and it took him seven minutes and clocked it as three and a quarter miles each way.
"I don't think seven minutes and three and a quarter miles is a good reason to spend two and a half million dollars," Heap said. (See his full comments in video).
After listening to Heap, board president Jill Critchley Weber countered that the expenditure of the capital reserves would not raise taxes and that the current space in the municipal building was insufficient for the needs of the district.
Board member Rich Connors agreed with Weber's assessment and said in video below that it would benefit the district in the long run.