OPINION: Community Should ‘Use Their Voice’ to Advocate for State Approval of SOMSD Construction

by Elissa Malespina
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The views expressed in this letter are my own and do not represent the views of the entire SOMSD Board of Education.

Our school buildings are in a state of disrepair because of their age and also years of neglect. In Nov of 2018, the BOE took the first steps to fix some of our more serious issues by passing a $160 Million Dollar Long Range Facilities Plan. This plan includes upgrades to our HVAC systems in all of our schools and will take care of many of the ventilation and heating issues we are now experiencing.

The Administration, and especially Business Administrator Paul Roth, has worked hard to bring these plans to fruition, with the goal of us breaking ground on the elementary school’s projects this summer. The problem we are now facing is that we are waiting on final approvals from the New Jersey Department of Education in order to start the bidding and construction projects. If we do not get these approvals in the next few weeks, it may mean that we will miss the ability to start work during this summer, which would mean that we might have to delay the construction until Summer 2022.

No one wants that, and that is why I am asking for the community to use their voices and write to our elected officials to ask them to help expedite the approval process.

I have included the letter that I have sent to the officials, along with email addresses for all the officials. Feel free to copy the letter or use it as a template to write your own letter.

One of the many things I love about this community is that we come together to advocate for causes we believe in. Please consider using your voices to help improve our schools for staff and students of SOMSD.

Elissa Malespina

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