Unofficial results in Tuesday’s election show Monroe’s $104 million referendum failed by a 4,346-to-3,723 margin. It was the school district’s third attempt to address overcrowding.
School officials said overcrowded and aging facilities in the district, which serves nearly 7,000 students in eight schools, has worsened since referendums were rejected in 2018 and 2019.
This referendum would have funded renovation, refurbishment and safety projects in district schools, including the high school, middle school and Applegarth Elementary School. The district would have received $17.4 million in state aid for the projects, according to school officials.
The average taxpayer whose home is assessed at $320,410 would have seen a $204 rise in taxes.
In Woodbridge, voters approved a $32 million project to renovate Avenel Street School, by a 2,236-to-573 margin, according to unofficial results.
The referendum followed the school district last fall canceling plans to build a new Avenel Street School after construction delayed by the COVID pandemic and supply shortages drove up the cost by at least $15 million, according to district officials.
The new proposal generates no tax increase with no cost to residents, district officials said.
The project includes various improvements, upgrades and renovations and construction of an addition to the existing Avenel Street School, including acquisition and installation of fixtures, furniture, equipment and any site work.
Avenel Street School, which is the oldest in the district at more than 100 years old, houses approximately 400 students in grades K-5.
Cheryl Makin is an award-winning features and education reporter forMyCentralJersey.com, part of the USA Today Network. Contact: Cmakin@gannettnj.com or@CherylMakin. To get unlimited access, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.