Renovation Plan Proposed by School Board is Approved by Majority of Votes

Angela Orlando, Entertainment Editor

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In late September, officials at state and county levels approved of the Ramsey Board of Education’s proposal for a construction plan to reach voters on December 11th. The cost for the construction primarily lies in renovating the district’s 82-year-old high school, which would put $15 million towards constructing a new music and performing arts wing, upgrading electric services, installing new windows, and more. Erik Endress, former board member for the district, has claimed that we “cannot deliver the great education our kids are getting here in town unless [we] support them with the facilities that they need.” Leading up to the 11th, district members had offered varying opinions on the referendum. Going through with the entire plan would invoke increased taxes on residents of Ramsey, causing many to publicly denounce the referendum in its entirety— taxes are already considered fairly high to families, making the quality of the school board’s pitch to be vital in its execution. As shown by Tuesday’s resulting 62% majority vote toward the renovations, the board was successful in delivering its message to voters.

Although the greater part of funds collected for the high school renovations will go toward the new performing arts wing, redesigned locker rooms, and other internal renovations, additional changes will also take place regarding the school’s exterior facilities. The tracks, courts, fields, and stands are planned to be replaced or renovated with new lighting or turf. Parking may also be upgraded, which students and faculty have requested for several years.

Besides the high school’s proposed improvements, the board also plans to accommodate all-day kindergarten for elementary schools Hubbard and Tisdale. As of now, the Ramsey School District is the only remaining district in Bergen county with half-day kindergarten programs. This being said, expanding the program would place the district on an upward trajectory for its academics and would offer more space for additional staffing. Another referendum regarding finances for such changes is set to take place in November of next year.

After the district’s 18 information sessions regarding the referendum, which concluded with the information fair at RHS in late November, the town wide decision has finally been made and plans for renovation specifics are nearing completion. According to the board’s April update, Construction is predicted to begin in the summer at the earliest, lasting at least three to four years.

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