OLD BRIDGE — In order for the Old Bridge School District to provide the best possible education to its students, Schools Superintendent David Cittadino said it is vital to update the district’s facilities, making them school climate-minded and environmentally responsible with a focus on safety.
The district is undergoing a series of renovations totaling more than $20 million.
The multiple projects include a $1.8 million district-wide technology upgrade and a $1.2 million electrical/emergency generator project at Carl Sandburg Middle School.
A $16.2 million Energy Savings Improvement Plan (ESIP) began the planning process in September 2015. The project includes upgrading all schools with LED energy efficient lights; installing new boilers at six buildings; implementing an energy management system; installing a computer-powered management system; replacing roofs at eight buildings; and installing 15 buildings with high energy transformers. All projects will be completed by Summer 2018.
According to School Business Administrator Joseph Marra, the money the district will save in electrical usage over the next 15 years will be used to pay for the project.
Marra also added that solar panels are being installed at Old Bridge High School, the Ellen McDermott Grade Nine Center, Jonas Salk Middle School, and Cooper, Memorial and Voorhees elementary schools.
“All the energy generated by solar panels should reduce the cost of energy to the district by 35 percent,” he said.
The emergency generator installed at Carl Sandburg, located off Route 516 near Route 9 north, was funded in part by a $600,000 grant the township received from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). The site will be used in case of a State of Emergency.
“To install the generator, all power to Sandburg had to be disconnected for most of the summer. This afforded the district the opportunity to upgrade all electrical systems at the middle school at an additional cost of $600,000,” Marra said. “As of Aug. 18, the power was turned back on.”
Other projects underway in the district include $800,000 in security upgrades throughout the district and $100,000 in playground upgrades.
Cittadino said Old Bridge Schools were recently ranked as one of the Top 10 Safest School Districts in New Jersey.
“Not an easy feat when you are home to 17 instructional facilities and the fifth largest high school in the state,” he said. “Such an accomplishment is the result of good staffing, community responsiveness and attentive planning by our leadership and board.”
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