TODAY: Lakewood Board of Education to Seek Voter Approval for School Improvement Projects

refToday, Tuesday, the Lakewood Board of Education will hold a public vote on its proposed referendum project. The referendum is aimed at making considerable improvements to the District’s schools through roof repairs and replacements, and HVAC upgrades. Specifically, the referendum projects include significant replacements to the HVAC systems at six (6) District schools: Lakewood High School, Oak Street School, Spruce Street School, Clifton Avenue Grade School, Lakewood Middle School and the E.G. Clarke School. In addition, the Board is also proposing to replace the leaking and badly worn roofs at the Oak Street, Spruce Street, Clifton Avenue and E.G. Clarke Schools.

The public will also be asked to refinance the District’s lease-purchase obligations in order to issue lower interest rate bonds, thus saving the District a significant amount of money in interest payments.

“The Board of Education wishes to replace and repair the noted roofs and HVAC systems in order to ensure the future viability of its schools for future generations of students,” says a Board official. “The Board, as well as State and County officials, have inspected the roofs and HVAC systems at issue and have determined that the deteriorated condition of these facilities puts in jeopardy not only the District’s infrastructure, but the education of its students. In fact, due to the poor conditions of the roofs and HVAC systems, students have had to be relocated to different areas of the buildings in order to accommodate flooding and heating problems.”

“The cost of repairing District buildings each year continues to escalate, and totaled approximately $418,000 in the last year alone. This “patchwork” repair system results in budgeted funds being redirected towards such costs, rather than being used in the classroom for the benefit the students and their education. Moreover, the District’s insurance company has indicated that the District’s failure to address the failing roofs may result in loss of coverage.”

The total cost of the proposed referendum project is $34,697,241, of which $29,497,241 is earmarked for the building improvements and $5,200,000 for the refinancing of outstanding lease purchase agreements. If the project is approved, the State of New Jersey will contribute approximately 40% of the building improvement costs, or $11,748,704, towards the overall cost of the project. The net cost to the District, then, and the amount ultimately funded by taxpayers, would be $22,948,537. If the project is approved by the voters, the funds used would be set aside by the District specifically for the projects listed in the referendum, and would be separate and apart from the District’s regular budget. Should the referendum be defeated, the State contribution would be forfeited.

More information on the referendum may be obtained on the District’s website,, or by contacting Thomas D’Ambola, District Business Administrator, at (732) 364-2400.


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  1. I’m sorry but we have no more money left after you just raised our taxes again last week. Let all parents of the public schools make a cookie sale like the girls scouts do or something like that and raise the money. It’s inexcusable that the kids should be in buildings like this and the same way every private school parent has to give to building fund when they enter so should public school parents. I don’t mean come off harsh but there is no money left . You want your bussing back then take it. I would happily pay privately then every time BOe needs a new window my taxes go shooting through the roof

  2. The Public School’s need this done. Our taxes keep going up for soooooo many different reasons. Let’s count, 150 plus private schools off tax role, books for the schools, busing, OT for police and bus drivers and crossing guards and so on. These are all for Federal Holidays. Come on, it’s not fair anymore. We need some help here. This is the first I heard of this vote, why was it not public?

  3. We don’t negogiate with Terrorist! If the BOE wants to threaten we better vote to pay another 800 a year in taxes or they going to raise it higher?

    Everyone is urged to vote NO and send Mr Azarra back to camden! He did a great job there!

    VOTE NO today and let’s put a stop to this nonesense

    They can’t be trusted with another dollar of our taxes

  4. I believe the location is at somerset ave school maybe TLS could advise the oilam the polling place and hours,
    and vote what make $ense for your pocketbook ,,

  5. Do you want to pay a few hundred dollars more taxes? Over all the recent raises! Well the BOE wants to raise your taxes by 34 Million dollars they are having a special election today! Its important you go vote and vote NO! Say no to more taxes! Polls open at 2pm. Three Minutes can save you hundreds of dollars a year!

  6. True the school bldgs are off the tax roles. But does anyone consider how many hundreds of kids are being educated in each building times how many thousands of dollars are being saved by the BOE to educate each one of them???

  7. Maybe is you stop flooding the public schools with the majority of non tax payers, cuz most of them live off the state, it wouldn’t be such a hard it yo the ones who do pay taxes

  8. I wasn’t the only voter there but i was the only private school tax paying parent there so unfortunately it looks to me like it will pass UNLESS ALL TAXPAYERS WHO FEEL THEY ARE FOOTING A BIG ENOUGH BILL GET OUT AND VOTE
    all at regular poling places till 9 pm

  9. My polling place on new hamshire ave was opened – and the lady who was volunteering there told me that I was one of the first ones to come vote today and that was close to four o’clock. Everyone should go vote- no to more taxes. My taxes were raised by 100 $ a month already last month.

  10. People need to vote! I just went to the polling station it is empty. People are not aware of this vote. There was not enough notice given and it is a busy time of the year. I never received notification in the mail.

    This will pass if people do not vote.

  11. Contrary to the false rumors started by certain staff in the administration – most of these expenses will NOT have to be paid out of our pockets if we vote NO. The rumor is a tactic being used to try and discourage taxpayers from voting their conscience!

    Let’s all VOTE NO and save ourselves many millions of dollars in higher property taxes. We cannot afford the unnecessary and super expensive Central A/C systems that will also run huge electric bills every month.

    The BOE staff can always come back to us again at another time for a vote to approve the bond and roof repair issue.

    VOTE NO!

  12. One simple point being overlooked. $29m to replace the roofs?? You can build 3 new buildings for that price. Like I’ve been saying for quite some the boe is the most corrupt entity in government. They don’t deserve another dollar

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