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Monroe school referendum to renovate and add to district buildings set for March 14

Monroe voters will head to the polls in March to decide on a referendum that will allow – if approved – the Monroe Township School District to renovate and add to school district buildings.

The $103.6 million referendum on March 14, would address the issue of unhoused students in the district, according to the school board.

Referendum projects specific to renovations and additions are centered around Monroe Township High School, Monroe Township Middle School and Applegarth Elementary School.

Board President Chrissy Skurbe, Vice President Karen Bierman, Peter Tufano, Kathleen Belko, Gazala Bohra and Michelle Scott voted in favor of having a March 14 referendum at a special school board meeting on Jan. 12.

Board members Carmen Alvarez, Gail DiPane, Katie Fabiano, and Kate Rattner voted “no” on the motion.

School Business Administrator Laura Allen said the estimated tax for the referendum would be $215 annually for the average assessed home of $331,000 in Monroe.

Monroe Township High School

If approved by voters, projects at Monroe Township High School include a 19,275 square foot addition that consists of 17 classrooms, two small group instructional spaces, and fitness center.

Renovations include turning the existing fitness space into general classrooms and small group instruction rooms.

The preliminary total cost for the high school projects is $13.8 million, according to New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) documents.

Monroe Township Middle School

On the grounds of the middle school, the school board plans to construct a 31,920 square foot addition.

The addition includes 13 general classrooms, two small group instructional classrooms, main office, data equipment room, electric room, auxillary cafeteria, offices, waiting area and restroom, security office, storage space, child study team office suite, conference room and restroom.

Renovations include converting the existing main office into four general classrooms and two small group instructional classrooms.

According to NJDOE documents, the preliminary total cost for the approved projects at the middle school is $39.8 million.

Applegarth Elementary School

New construction planned consists of a 27,500 square foot addition at Applegarth Elementary School.

“Now is the time to finally renovate Applegarth School the way it needs to be and add an addition that will not only solve the overcrowding in the school but will allow the third graders at Oak Tree to move across to Applegarth,” Skurbe said.

She added that the realigning of grades will alleviate the overcrowding at Oak Tree Elementary School.

Inside the addition includes 12 general classrooms, four self-contained special education classrooms, one small group instructional classroom, a cafeteria with a full-service kitchen, a child study team (CST) office suite, student services, and testing room.

Additionally, a vice principal office, storage room, and IT (information technology) equipment room.

Planned renovations include converting the stage, cafeteria and lunchroom existing at the lower level into three 5th grade classrooms and one special education room; the current music room converted into an art room; and the current guidance room and the CST suite at the main level converted into 4th grade classrooms.

The preliminary total cost for the addition and renovations is projected at $49.9 million, according to NJDOE documents.

For more information on the referendum visit https://referendum.monroe.k12.nj.us/

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