Cranbury voters will determine whether $18.46 million in proposed Cranbury School capital projects can move forward when they cast their votes on a proposed facilities referendum on Dec. 14.
If voters pass the referendum, the approval will allow for the Cranbury School facility renovations and improvements.
The district would sell bonds to finance the work. The school district currently maintains an AAA bond rating.
The last payment on the district’s current debt will be made in July 2022 and there would not be overlapping debt payments, according to school district administrators.
A property owner in Cranbury with an average assessed home of $609,831 would have an estimated annual debit service tax of $311.
Areas targeted at the Cranbury School for improvements and renovations include two middle school science classrooms. One science classroom will see upgrades to its lab stations and a second classroom that does not contain separate lab stations would have them installed in that classroom.
A new Center for Arts Education is planned to replace the existing space for the combination gym and auditorium. The center would be able to accommodate 600 people.
An area behind the 600 seats would contain audio and visual operations for the new center, the stage is expected to significantly increase and students could work with a virtual screen for productions and performances.
Spaces and rooms are planned to be built for storage and dressing rooms. At this time, students at the Cranbury School dress for performances in the hallways and the clothes are stored there as well.
According to district administrators, the Center for Arts Education addresses current issues for the school in terms of seating and performance stage space, which is described as limited by the administration and the Board of Education in the current combination gym and auditorium.
Another capital project that is part of referendum is the redesign of the existing library space into a makerspace area, media center and academic commons. There would be different types of media, flexible furniture, glass doors and the space could be used by the community.
The existing library space’s current use is as additional classroom and cafeteria space.
District administrators and the board also want to upgrade the Cranbury School’s cafeteria. More than 50 years old, the kitchen improvements include updated appliances and more space would be created for operations if the referendum is approved.
Additional areas also targeted are the main office, which is currently a multi-purpose use for mail, security and meetings; the creation of a new nurse’s suite will have increased space and allow for a separate space for students’ school health records; and the construction of a greenhouse and outside area for eating adjacent to the cafeteria.
The blacktop behind the school would be redone, and a traffic study is planned followed by a redesign of the parking lot to address congestion and design.
In the lead-up to the Dec. 14 vote, district administrators and the board held several question and answer forums, and tours of the Cranbury School to indicate exactly where the improvements and renovations will occur if voters give the referendum the green light.
For more information about the proposed projects, visit www.cranburyschool.org