Building a Stronger North Brunswick
North Brunswick Township School District to Hold Referendum Election on December 13 to Support NBT Kids
North Brunswick Township, NJ, December 6, 2016 (Newswire.com) - “A school isn’t just a building – it’s a reflection of how a community takes care of its kids,” states Dr. Brian Zychowski, Superintendent of Schools, North Brunswick Township Schools. “Our students are some of the best prepared in the State of New Jersey, and it is our steadfast commitment to enable each and every one of them to reach their greatest potential. To honor this commitment, we must relieve our current overcrowding and make the necessary accommodations for our future growth. All residents and taxpayers are impacted by this referendum. The conditions of schools are linked to the property values of the community it serves. Stronger schools mean stronger property values, which translates into a stronger community.”
The North Brunswick Township School District will hold a referendum on Tuesday, December 13th, 2016 in an effort to relieve current overcrowding in the schools, plan for future growth, and to keep the school district and township successful and competitive amongst neighboring schools and towns.
According to census numbers, North Brunswick Township has grown from about 16,691 residents in 1970 to 42,725 in 2015, reflecting a forty five-year increase of approximately 155%. The school district has also expanded, increasing by 1,100 students since 1995. Additionally, in accordance with the development of the Main Street Project, and coupled with the projections of the New Jersey Department of Education, the school district is preparing for a 9% increase, or 575 additional students, by 2020.
Dr. Zychowski reflects, “The most recently constructed school, North Brunswick Township High School, was built in 1973. Our buildings and properties are full – we are out of room. We’d like to move beyond temporary solutions to provide our students with the most appropriate, safe, and learning-rich environments as possible.”
Of further concern to the district is the state-mandated* Early Childhood Center (ECC), which serves 3 and 4-year-old special-needs students – and has a growing population, but nowhere to go in-district. Due to a significant lack of space, the district has resorted to leasing off-site classroom space for these children in neighboring Milltown.
Dr. Zychowski continues, “In addition to the yearly rental expense of $250,000, the sense of exclusion associated with transporting our 3 and 4-year-old special-needs students to a different location is a high price to pay – instead of busing students to Milltown, they need to learn and grow educationally in their hometown of North Brunswick”.
The Stronger North Brunswick Referendum proposes:
- Building a new middle school for the 7th and 8th grades.
- Enabling 5th grade students from the elementary schools to join 6th grade students at the Linwood School.
- Bringing the state-mandated Early Childhood Center students “home”.
- Relocating the Board of Education offices to the Linwood School takes advantage of a $900K grant from the DOE (a cost savings measure to the taxpayer).
- Renovating the Linwood School to specifically support and accommodate the 5th and 6th grade students, the Early Childhood Center and the Board of Education offices.
The cost to the taxpayer associated with this proposal is $68.4 million. The monthly expense to taxpayers is $19 per month on an average home value of $314,000. By partnering with the state on innovative renovation proposals, state funding totals nearly $8.9 million. It is expected that the proposed sale of the Board of Education building will provide additional tax relief.
“As evidenced by the significant growth of our township in recent decades, we are a vibrant and evolving community. Successful and competitive, the North Brunswick Township Schools is one of our most valuable assets,” said Dr. Zychowski. He follows, “When we properly and astutely maintain our schools, we in turn work towards maintaining and steadily increasing the values of our homes and our town. The 2016 Referendum provides a way to strengthen North Brunswick by investing both in our schools – and our students.”
Voting on the Stronger North Brunswick Referendum will take place on Tuesday, December 13th, from 2pm – 9pm at regular polling locations. Mail-in ballots are available through the County Clerk’s office.
For more information about the Stronger North Brunswick Referendum, visit SupportNBTKids.com.
*N.J.A.C. 6A:13A, "ELEMENTS OF HIGH QUALITY PRESCHOOL PROGRAM" mandates preschool for all at risk children, children with special needs, classified children, ages 3-4.
Source: Support NBT Kids