The election will ask voters to approve borrowing to pay for part of a major renovation of the Ocean City Primary School.
The school needs a new roof, heating and cooling systems, plumbing and electrical systems, windows and doors. The estimated cost of the work is $6.6 million, interim School Business Administrator Mark Ritter said on Wednesday.
Voters would be asked to authorize a bond issue to pay for the balance of the project not funded by state grants.
Gov. Chris Christie announced on Dec. 5 that the Ocean City School District will receive $2,399,279 for school projects as part of $507 million in funding for school construction statewide.
But Ritter said Wednesday that the district has yet to receive confirmation from state education officials about the $2.4 million grant and about how the money should be applied.
The district faces two major capital projects: the $6.6 million Primary School project and a $2.9 million replacement of the heating and cooling (HVAC) system at Ocean City High School.
The state money would be used to reduce the cost burden to local taxpayers on one or both of the projects.
The balance would be funded as follows:
- OCHS HVAC system: The district's capital reserve fund (with a balance of about $3 million earlier this year) would pay for the project scheduled for summer 2014.
- OCPS renovation: The bond issue would pay for the project scheduled for summer 2015.
In public comment, Fairness in Taxes member Vic Staniec said his organization supports the renovation of the primary school, which has not received any major upgrade since it was built in the 1970s.
But Staniec questioned paying $2.9 million "to improve an HVAC system that has never performed properly." He said the high school has had problems with its HVAC system since the school was constructed in 2004.
"The people who were responsible for this should have to pay for it," Staniec said.