January 12, 2022

BOE Encourages Residents to Inform Themselves About Referendum, Vote Jan. 25

To the Editor:

Princeton residents will have the opportunity to vote on a Princeton Public Schools Facilities Stewardship Referendum on Tuesday, January 25, 2022. We are writing to encourage residents to inform themselves and to vote by mail or in person on January 25.   

After a comprehensive review of building systems, the Board is proposing a multi-year schedule of significant repairs and improvements to the six district school buildings, funded by a $17.5 million bond issue that will be paid for in part by approximately $7 million in debt service aid from the state of New Jersey.  Bonds are the most cost-effective way of paying for these repairs because state debt service aid is available. It is anticipated that the net school capital tax levy will decrease next year, even with the issue of new bonds, due to retiring debt from past facilities investments.

The largest part of the proposed project involves roof replacements at all six schools, including replacement of outdated rooftop HVAC equipment. After many years of patchwork and emergency repairs, a majority of the roofing is past or near the end of its useful life. As part of the proposed improvements, at no extra cost, roofs would be made “solar ready,” facilitating the installation of solar panels at a future date, reducing energy costs and aligning with community sustainability goals.

The referendum also proposes repairs and replacement of gutters, fascia, and skylights at Johnson Park School. Riverside and Littlebrook schools are slated to receive new siding to address deterioration and mold concerns. Aging masonry repair on the Princeton High School Tower, originally constructed in 1928, is also part of the proposed project.

For more information, please visit the PPS Referendum website (princetonk12.org/district/referendum-2022) for voting information and a PowerPoint about the proposed referendum, as well as an informational video.

Polls for this special election will be open from 1:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, January 25, at the four elementary schools listed below:

Polling Location No. 1: Community Park School, 372 Witherspoon Street: Districts 5, 9, 10 11, 21, and 22.

Polling Location No. 2: Riverside School, 58 Riverside Drive West: Districts 7, 8, 12, 17, 18, and 19.

Polling Location No. 3: Johnson Park School, 285 Rosedale Road: Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6.

Polling Location No. 4: Littlebrook School, 39 Magnolia Lane: Districts 13, 14, 15, 16, and 20.

Any questions about the referendum can be emailed to communications@princetonk12.org.

Princeton Board of Education