Improvements at Monmouth Regional High School that were included in a $22.3 million referendum voters approved in November 2018 are advancing.
The high school is off Route 537 in Tinton Falls and the three municipalities that send students to the high school are Tinton Falls, Eatontown and Shrewsbury Township.
During an Eatontown Borough Council meeting on Sept. 11, Monmouth Regional Superintendent of Schools Andrew Teeple presented the council and members of the public with an update on the status of the referendum improvements.
Teeple said the upstairs area of the high school is now air conditioned. He said the process to provide air conditioning throughout the entire school would be completed by the summer of 2020.
Teeple said the construction of a third gymnasium is underway and he said several of the school’s athletic fields have been converted to a synthetic turf playing surface. Work is underway at the school’s performing arts center where new restrooms are being installed.
“The building projects are going well,” he told the council members.
Teeple said while construction crews were replacing a gymnasium floor, “there was a little snag.” He said asbestos – a toxic substance – was found under the floor. The asbestos was removed before the 2019-20 school year began earlier this month.
Teeple said a project to install solar panels on the high school’s roof as a means of providing sustainable energy will be completed next summer.
Other work covered by the referendum includes the replacement of the high school’s original boilers; window replacement; the replacement of electrical panels with new units; the replacement of the performing arts center’s curtain; the removal of the performing arts center’s stage lights, to be replaced with LED lights; and improvements to two classroom floors that are “sinking.”
Teeple did not specifically address those improvements during his presentation to the Eatontown council.
The referendum will also cover the installation of a district-wide control system to manage energy efficiency and the partial replacement of the high school’s roof, which was installed 20 years ago, according to district administrators.
District administrators said once state aid is factored in, the total cost of the referendum to be borne by property owners in the three sending municipalities could decrease by almost $4.9 million to about $17.49 million.