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Superintendent of schools outlines referendum for Red Bank council

Jared Rumage, the Red Bank Borough Public Schools superintendent of schools, has shared the details of a $6.75 million referendum with members of the Red Bank Borough Council.

Voters will be asked by the school district’s Board of Education to approve the referendum on Election Day, Nov. 5.

Rumage appeared before the council on Sept. 11.

He said the Red Bank Primary School, which educates 560 students in pre-kindergarten through third grade, and the Red Bank Middle School, which educates 656 students in grades four through eight, would have repairs and upgrades completed if voters approve the referendum.

“We strive to be the best school district in America,” Rumage said. “… It’s an attitude, it’s a mindset we have. Our daily mantra is ‘dream big, we will help you get there.’ We want our students to be inspired. We want our students to dream big. We want to make sure we provide (students) with everything they need to achieve those dreams.”

According to the school district’s website, the proposed enhancements and repairs, if completed, would keep the borough’s schools safe, functional and efficient.

The referendum proposes the following:

• Remove existing roofing at the primary school and replace with new gutters, downspouts, fascia boards, vented soffits, siding and cupolas;

• Replace the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system at the primary school with a reliable energy efficient system that would reduce monthly utility bills and prevent expensive repairs;

• Replace windows at the middle school with thermal energy efficient windows, replace all deteriorated steel lintels and repair any damaged concrete or slate sills;

• Repair exterior walls of the primary school to limit the potential for water infiltration and reduce future structural problems.

According to the school district’s website, the referendum has been approved for up to 40% state funding of eligible costs.

Administrators said if voters defeat the referendum, they would attempt to find alternate solutions to repair and replace the major systems that require upgrades.

Rumage has said Red Bank property owners will not see a tax increase if the referendum is approved because the school district has expiring debt in 2021.

Council members thanked the superintendent for presenting the information about the referendum.

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