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Sayreville voters approve $97.5 bond referendum to improve district’s schools

SAYREVILLE – Voters approved a referendum for the Sayreville Board of Education to appropriate $97.5 million in bonds to improve the district’s schools.

A special election was held on Oct. 6 to seek approval of the district’s bond proposal for the improvements, with focus on improving the air conditioning at every facility. The referendum received 2,453 “yes” votes to 1,485 “no” votes.

With the approval of the referendum, the board is authorized to undertake major air conditioning improvements and rehabilitation, renovations, alterations and improvements at the Emma L. Arleth Elementary School, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Elementary School, the Harry S. Truman Elementary School, the Woodrow Wilson Elementary School, the Samsel Upper Elementary School (SUES), the Sayreville Middle School (SMS) and the Sayreville War Memorial High School (SWMHS).

The district was approved for a potential debt service relief of 29% for the referendum, according to the board.

Some $24.8 million will be allocated to SUES, $24.5 million will be allocated towards SWMHS, $18.6 million will be allocated to SMS, $6.78 million will be allocated to Wilson, $6.71 million will be allocated to Arleth, $5.81 million will be allocated to Truman, $5.74 million will be allocated to Eisenhower, and $4.5 million will be allocated to Selover, according to district administrators.

The projects sought by the referendum will be for the purpose of upgrading the electrical grid infrastructures, windows, doors, roofs, and the installation of central air conditioning in every space within every school, with focus on second floors, according to the district website.

The average age of the district’s school buildings is approximately 60. Furthermore, due to being underfunded by the state of New Jersey and the very lean budgets over the past two decades, the facilities in the district are in desperate need of renovation and refurbishment, according to the district website.

The referendum also seeks to renovate Selover, which became the district’s second pre-kindergarten facility in the fall. The renovations are intended to allow Selover to meet all school building code requirements for a preschool and for the construction of a secure retention vestibule, according to the district website.

With the approved referendum, $77 million will be allocated to HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) improvements, $13.8 million will be allocated to windows improvements, $5.7 million will be allocated roofing improvements and $1.1 million will be allocated to the code compliance at Selover.

The design and the construction of the improvements are scheduled to take place over three phases through December 2025.

After the referendum was approved, board members passed a resolution appointing Spiezle Architectural Group Inc. for professional services related to the design and construction administration for the projects that fall under the referendum on Oct. 18.

Spiezle will receive $6.27 million for the services, according to the resolution, which will be paid out of the proceeds of the bond sale related to the referendum.

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