Maplewood Schools / Kids South Orange

UPDATED: South Orange-Maplewood BOE Approves Long Range Facilities Plan

Updated November 20, 2018: The South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education voted to approve the Long Range Facilities Plan (with a K-5/6-8/9-12 configuration) by a vote of 8-0. Full story to come tomorrow. After the vote tonight, Board of Ed President Elizabeth Baker stated, “”I just want to note that what we did tonight in terms of the Long Range Facilities Plan is really historic and we have more work to do when we resume with the Board of School Estimate on December 6 but I’m so proud of what we’ve done and I appreciate everything the Dr. Ficarra and Mr. Roth have done to support this process. ” 

From the South Orange-Maplewood School District. See links to Village Green’s previous coverage of the proposed Long Range Facilities & Integration Plan below.

Dear SOMSD Community,

At their meeting on Monday, November 19, 2018, the Board of Education will vote on the Superintendent’s recommendations for the Long Range Facilities Plan. The agenda is available here. You can attend the meeting, or watch it via livestream.

(Correction: In addition to the Superintendent’s recommendations for $93.1M in health and safety renovations and $38.8M for  K-5/6-8/9-12 facility expansion, the Board will also be asked to vote on the options listed below at Monday’s meeting. The vote is to authorize the architect to submit the projects to the Deportment for Education for review and approval. The Board will make a final decision to request funding for these projects at a later date after the Department of Education reviews the projects.)

Part of the plan includes expansion to meet our growing enrollment, and to replace the classrooms which will be lost when we remove the decaying portables from our elementary schools. During the development process, the District has considered a number of different possible configurations, weighing the educational benefits of each as well as the feasibility and cost given our existing buildings. We also solicited input from the community and staff during several months of interacting with the community to explain the initial plan and collect feedback at small and large meetings. The Board of Education held several sessions with the Board of School Estimate, which has the taxing authority for to discuss the plan as it was being developed as well. Extensive community feedback factored in to the Superintendent’s final recommendations to the Board, which were presented at the October 15, 2018, meeting, and discussed further at a special session on November 7, 2018.

The Superintendent is recommending the following:

There are additional options which were not part of the original plan, but which were suggested by community members during the feedback phase of the plan development, including:

  • $3.6M to Expand Pre-School
  • $15.2M to Add A/C to Schools
  • $1.2M to Replace Turf at Underhill Field
  • $0.6M on Observatory/Planetorium
  • $2.4M to Reinforce Slate Roofs for Solar Panel Installation
  • $20.6M to Reinforce Flat Roofs for Solar Panel Installation

These options will not be voted on at Monday’s meeting. The Board of Education will consider whether to bring any of the options to the Board of School Estimate for further discussion.

The District expects to go out for bonding in early 2019.

South Orange Maplewood School District

Village Green coverage:

Ficarra: ‘We Are Looking at Facilities Planning With an Eye to Solving De Facto Segregation’ – November 21, 2017

Ficarra: Facilities Improvements and Integration Must Happen Together – June 11, 2018

SOMSD Proposes $131M Facilities Plan and Reconfiguration for Grades K-8 – May 14, 2018

Bowing to Community Feedback, Ficarra Offers Scaled-Down School Reconfiguration Plan – October 19, 2018

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