Voters OK $33M in Oceanport School Upgrades

first_imgThe expansions will make room for new students coming to the district, as 639 residential units are being built at the former Fort Monmouth as part of the East Gate and Liberty Walk developments. Though the student population has steadily declined over the past few years, projections show that once those children enter the school system, the demographics will about mirror the population today. There were 686 “yes” votes and 443 “no” votes among the Oceanport and Sea Bright residents. Sea Bright is a sending district for children in elementary school through 8th grade. Additionally, Wolf Hill Elementary School will get a new media center, cafeteria and connecting courtyard; six new classrooms will be added; toilet facilities will be renovated in pre-K and kindergarten classrooms, as now required by law; a new bus drop-off loop will be added; ADA-compliant spaces will be renovated; and more. In Sea Bright, 54 percent, or 58 people, were for and 45 percent, or 48 people, were against. Oceanport residents represented 90 percent of the voters. Of the 1,023 votes cast in Oceanport, 61 percent, or 628 people, voted for the referendum while 38 percent, or 395 people, voted against it. “We are so thankful to everyone who voted yesterday. This is a banner moment for our school district,” said Oceanport Schools Superintendent Anne R. Facendo. “We think of our community as being champions for the children in Oceanport and Sea Bright.” OCEANPORT – A $33 million Oceanport school referendum to bring improvements to both the Wolf Hill and Maple Place schools was approved by voters Tuesday, Dec. 10. Facendo anticipates that work will be completed over the next two to four years. School district representatives will “very quickly” sit down to start the planning phases of the job, which all must be approved by the state Department of Education. “It’s a long process. There’s a lot of moving parts to this,” she said.center_img Now both schools in the district will receive new fire sprinkler systems; fire alarm systems; secure vestibules and lockdown capabilities; safety glazing on lower level windows; camera systems; new windows; new roofing systems; flooring; classroom furnishings; mechanical, electrical and plumbing upgrades; new lighting fixtures; parking improvements; and gym renovations, among other features. Michelle McMullin, the school board president, said the existing school buildings have reached an “unacceptable level.” The updates will allow students to work in “21st-century buildings with ADA compliance and better fire prevention methods,” upgraded security and more. “It’s really an exciting day for both the students and the staff.” According to the district, 116 units have already been built and are occupied. As a result, the district gained 20 new students. With this in mind, the district anticipates it will receive 109 students once the rest of the residential units are built. Wolf Hill School, a 108-year-old building, will soon see renovations thanks to the approval of the school referendum Dec. 10. Maple Place Middle School, built in 1966, will also see a variety of improvements.Photo Chris Rotolo At Maple Place Middle School, the science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) wing will be renovated with science labs, computer labs and more. There will also be renovations to the cafetorium, locker rooms with individual showers, media center and guidance and physical therapist/occupational therapist rooms. Along with Facendo, McMullin gave thanks to the voters, school board, administration, teachers and architects who helped make this plan a reality. “This is definitely a collaborative effort,” she said.last_img

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