Education

$6.75 Million Air Conditioning Units for Glen Rock Elementary Schools: Referendum?

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GLEN ROCK – A referendum question asking taxpayers to fund a $6.57 million air conditioning initiative for the four elementary schools may be scheduled for November 2018.

Business Administrator Michael Rinderknecht said the board could receive 40 cents on the dollar from the New Jersey Department of Education for the project if funded through a referendum.

“We’re quite hopeful, depending on how we go down the road, perhaps a referendum, there would be some state funding upwards of 40 percent…which is quite significant,” he told trustees on Dec. 5.

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If taxpayers vote in favor of the referendum, the project would begin construction in 2019, Rinderknecht said.

At a previous board meeting, trustees discussed the need for new air conditioning in the elementary schools given the hot and humid conditions in several classrooms which reportedly were as high as 91 degrees in October.

Whatever the thermostats’ accuracy, Interim Superintendent Bruce Watson stressed the need to have the units replaced.     

“This is what we need to do for our schools,” he said. “We know that we want to do it. It’s very, very necessary.”

Watson suggested the architect who provided the proposal present at an upcoming meeting so that board members can ask questions about construction costs, as well as the bonding attorney to enlighten trustees on the process.

While Board Member Rona McNabola suggested adding solar panels to a separate referendum question, Board Member Elizabeth Carr added she was in talks with the Operations Committee who suggested other projects that could warrant being on the referendum, although she did not divulge any further details.

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