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The $8.5 million question in Phillipsburg, New Jersey

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: May 06 2014 05:00:58 PM CDT
Updated On: May 06 2014 06:23:36 PM CDT

The Phillipsburg School District is pushing an ambitious improvement plan, but will voters go for it?

PHILLIPSBURG, N.J. -

The Phillipsburg School District is pushing an ambitious improvement plan, but will voters go for it?

With the new high school under construction, administrators need to find a way to use the old high school and other buildings in the district.

They will tell people how they plan to do that at a town hall meeting Tuesday night.

Some think it's a good investment in the future of the Phillipsburg School District.

“Once the members of the community hear what the project entails and the fact that we are going to be enhancing the facilities at the elementary and middle school level, I think they are positive about that,” said George Chando, superintendent of the Phillipsburg School District.

The district's "Facilities Plan" has a lot of working parts.

It calls for closing the Barber, Freeman and Howell schools, then converting Barber to the new district office.

Students at the middle school will move to the old high school, while high school students will occupy the new high school being constructed on Belvidere Road.

“You’re really bringing coherency to your education's program as well as providing the best facilities for the students,” added Chando.

The total cost of the project is $10.8 million.

The district is using $2.3 million from the capital reserve account, and asking voters to approve an $8.5 million bond.

The best part, according to district officials, is that there will be no tax increase.

“We’ll have enough money to be able to fund this $8.5 million project without having any tax impact to the citizens of Phillipsburg," said Chando.

The town hall meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the Phillipsburg High School Auditorium.

The vote on the referendum will be September 30.

If you can't make the meeting, click here for more information.