INFORMATION RELEASE – MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP PUBLIC SCHOOLS
MARCH 11, 2014 REFERENDUM
The Middletown Township Board of Education has been approved by the state for $12.9 million in Regular Operating District (ROD) facilities grants. These grants represent 40% of the cost of critically needed roofing and heating and cooling repair and replacement projects. In order to fund the District’s 60% share of the $32.3 million cost of these projects, the Board has approved a referendum to authorize the issuance of $19.4 million in bonds. These grants represent an opportunity for the district to complete this necessary work in a way that will save Middletown Township taxpayers almost $13 million.
The New Jersey Department of Education announced the availability of these ROD grants to school districts in May, 2013. Applications for funding were submitted in early September, 2013 and districts were notified of approvals in early December, 2013. Because of the review and assessment of the District’s roofs and its geothermal heating and cooling systems that the Board had done over the last few years, the District was able to take advantage of this opportunity to obtain funding for roofing projects at 15 district schools and for the geothermal heating and cooling systems at its three middle schools and two high schools. The New Jersey Department of Education categorized applications into three tiers, with Level 1 being the highest priority based on critical building upgrades, roof and window repairs, code issues, ADA upgrades, security systems and hazardous material abatement. The projects that were submitted by the Middletown Township Board of Education were all classified as Priority Level 1 projects by the state. The state received over 2,100 applications from districts for funding and only Priority Level 1 projects were approved.
The District continually reviews and evaluates its short term and long term facilities needs. In February 2012, a district wide roofing evaluation study was completed that assessed the condition of all of the district's roofs and prioritized the needs for repair and replacement of roofing on all of the district's buildings. During the last two years, the District has been able to address the most critical roofing repairs and replacements through the use of its capital reserve. Prior to these roofing projects, there had been no roofing replacements done in the district for several years. When the ROD grants were announced, the District submitted applications for repair and replacement of all of the remaining roofs and these projects were approved. The District also submitted projects for repairs to the geothermal heating and cooling systems in its two high school and three middle schools. There have been continuing issues with the heating and cooling systems in these buildings and the district submitted projects that represent a long term solution to improving the operating effectiveness and efficiency of these systems.