Millburn Schools Post-Referendum Approval: What's Next?

Millburn Board of Education Meeting Credits: Bradley Klein

MILLBURN, NJ - On Monday evening the Millburn Township Board of Education met for their regular meeting and looked ahead to the next steps for the district after the successful passing of the bond referendum on September 27. With an overwhelming approval rating of 75% among voters, the referendum provides for the purchase of the Washington School to become a fifth-grade academy, for health and safety improvements in all township schools and the creation of innovation spaces. Dr. Christine Burton, Superintendent of Millburn Schools, presented the rest of the process in three phases.

Phase I focuses on funding and the required legislative bills. The Board of Education has approved the resolution for the recommendation of a 25-year non-conforming bond. Non-conforming bonds give the taxpayer the ability to pay down the principal payment. The district’s current bonds expire in two years. This allows the taxpayer gain some financial leverage over time. Towards the end of the calendar year, the district will have the funds needed to move forward with its purchase of the Washington School. In order for the treasury department to sell the Washington School building and grounds to the Millburn School District, a legislative bill requires passage from the state assembly and the senate.

Phase II deals with necessary renovations to the Washington school, as well as innovative spaces and additional projects subject to approval by the New Jersey Department of Education. Renovations are slated to begin around February at the Washington School pending DOE rulings.

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Phase III includes final additions to the middle and high schools. All referendum projects will be completed by the fall of 2018.

The BOE started the hiring process for the Fifth Grade Academy’s first principal, with planned finalization in November. Once the principal is in place the planning process for programming, scheduling, and transportation will commence.

Transitional activities for the current fourth-grade students, parents, and teachers will start in the spring of 2017 to get everyone acquainted with the new building. Over the summer, final preparations will ready the school for full use, in time for the official ribbon cutting just before the 2018 school year commences.

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