By Janee Law
Voters are less than two weeks away from weighing in on $13.6 million in proposed capital improvements in the Harborfields School District, including new instructional spaces and a new $2 million athletic field at the Harborfields High School, in a bond referendum Oct. 27.
“All items included in the bond would have a direct impact on students, from improving basic infrastructure to modernizing science labs so they can support a 21st Century curriculum,” Harborfields Superintendent Diana Todaro said in an email.
The school board, which first announced plans for the capital improvements in February, set the date for the vote date in August and held a third community forum about the project on Oct. 7. Board officials presented a video at the latest meeting that highlighted the project, which is split into two propositions.
Proposition 1, which costs $11.6 million, includes renovations to the Harborfields High School, Oldfield Middle School, Thomas J. Elementary School and Washington Drive Primary School. The proposal includes renovating bathrooms, damaged doors, science labs, auditoriums, gymnasiums, parking lots, locker rooms, tennis courts, a wellness center and updating playground equipment.
The proposition would increase taxes to the average homeowner (with an assessed value of $4,000) by about $76.20 per year.
Proposition 2, which is dependent on the passing of Proposition 1, includes replacing an athletic field at the Harborfields High School. The field will be transformed to a synthetic turf field with an alternative fill to crumb rubber, such as Nike infill. It costs about $2 million and, with the same assessed value for a home, taxes to homeowners would increase taxes $13.08 per year.
These improvements will not only benefit students at Harborfields, it will also enhance opportunities for the greater community, as well, Todaro said.
Through eight months of updating the project, board officials supported a resolution to hold a public vote, at the board of education meeting on Aug. 26.
This bond referendum follows a December 2013 vote in which taxpayers overwhelmingly rejected a plan to bond $3 million to install turf fields at district facilities.
“I encourage all voters to visit our website for a comprehensive list of improvements and make an informed choice,” Todaro said.
The vote is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 27, at the Old Field Middle School auditorium, located at 2 Oldfield Road in Greenlawn. Polls will be open from 2-9 p.m.
For more information, visit harborfieldscsd.net