Ridgefield Referendum 2014-15 for Approved ROD Grants
In order for children to learn, they need to feel safe, secure, and comfortable. They need to come to healthy and stimulating environments. They need to have the appropriate tools. In these modern times, challenges continue to grow, and with our limited means, the needs become harder to accommodate. During these past several years, Ridgefield taxpayers have been gracious enough to pass two smaller referendum projects to help the Ridgefield Schools repair our roofs, purchase new boilers, and build up-to-date science labs. While those efforts have improved conditions, our schools are old and in serious need of repair in a variety of other areas.
Many classroom windows do not lock. They are single-paned and extremely inefficient when it comes to energy use and cost. Roughly 80 percent of our exterior windows and doors are original to the schools and remain in serious need of replacement. Exterior entranceways require security upgrades. Electrical systems no longer supply the service needed to power newer technologies. Multipurpose rooms are environmentally challenging for many youngsters. Schools do not have the appropriate internal features to secure them during evening events, and vandalism has resulted in expensive repair work.
Ridgefield Public Schools has a new opportunity to improve current conditions. NJ State grant funding for regular operating districts (RODs) could bring a total of 1.2 million dollars if taxpayers agree to pass a 3 million dollar referendum to improve our schools. Several building projects were approved and would require funding for 60 percent of the total cost, which would come to roughly $37.20 per year for fifteen years for the average household. The State would cover 40 percent of the cost. The end results would bring energy efficiency (savings), safety, security, and more optimal learning environments.
For $37.20 per average household per year for fifteen years, Ridgefield Public Schools will benefit from window replacement, restroom exhaust systems, HVAC control replacement, electrical panels replacement, cooling system upgrades, and upgrades to communications and security. The return on this relatively small investment will improve our schools, provide better learning environments and, in turn, increase property values. It is an important opportunity for our schools and our town. Thankfully, we can engage in this important opportunity for our schools and our town.