Please look below for answers to the most common questions regarding the upcoming referendum.
Security - We are seeking to make our schools safer with the installation of security vestibules as well as updated, digitial security cameras. Annual Budget Constraints - We are not able to complete the scope of repairs that are necessary through our annual budget. We had mold issues in two of our schools last summer. We have two roofs that are out of warranty. One of our boilers is over 20 years old and in need of replacement. We have 15, 20 and 27-year-old carpet in our schools.
The district has timed the proposed referendum project well. Lumberton taxpayers will be retiring $990,000 in debt service annually, as Ashbrook School will be paid off. It is like a mortgage being paid off. The district will seek to add approximately $350,000 back to the debt service through the referendum. The state of NJ will also pay up to 40% share of the projects. The impact is a decrease for the average homeowner of $110 a year in debt service. If there was no referendum the decrease would be $193 annually on debt service. The total cost of the projects is $4,881,288.
The state of NJ will also pay up to 40% share of the referendum projects. If the projects are completed through the local budget, Lumberton taxpayers would pay 100% of the costs.
LTSD faces fiscal/financial challenges in the future - Due to state legislation, state aid to Lumberton will decline by over $2,000,000 over the next seven years. Enrollment is Declining - Our enrollment has gone from 1,776 students in 2006 to 1,223 in 2018. Lumberton's birth rate declined from 18.0 births per 1,000 in 2003 to 8.2 births per 1,000 in 2016. Savings Opportunity - There is an opportunity to save administrative costs by closing a school. The district will be operating with three schools starting in the 2019-20 school year.
There is an open community meeting on February 5, 2019 at 7:00 PM at the FJLPAC. There will also be breakfast meetings at Dunkin Donuts (Feb. 22, 7:30-9:00 a.m.) and at the Diamond Diner (March 1, 7:30-9:00 a.m.)
Remember to VOTE on Tuesday, March 12, 2019. Polls will be open from Noon to 8:00 p.m.
Referendum information can be located here: https://www.lumberton.k12.nj.us/referendum/
Any community resident can use the Sign Up Genius link (https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a0b4caaa823a4fc1-referendum) to request to host a home meeting. You may invite friends and neighbors to get more information about the project.
Two things can happen. The district can apply for a bathroom waiver through NJDOE. If the waiver is approved, pre-school and kindergarten students would need to use a common bathroom at Ashbrook under this scenario. Walther School would close. If the bathroom waiver is denied, the district will then need to keep Walther open and close the Ashbrook School.
Ashbrook and Bobby’s Run have ample space for classrooms for the proposed grade span.
If the referendum passes, the FLW School will close to Lumberton students in the 2020-21 school year. The Board will have several different possibilities for the building. The most likely option would be to lease the building after June, 2020. EDC offices are located in the EDC building and will likely continue to be housed there. This facility also serves as our site for central registration.
The BCT ran articles on November 16 and 19, 2018. We continue to work with the reporter and have invited her to our task force and other meetings. The district cannot share them because of copyright issues. A great resource for information is the fact sheet, located at the web site: https:/www.lumberton.k12.nj.us/referendum
Construction could begin as early as the summer of 2019. The administration will prioritize projects and seek to have them completed as soon as possible. We would hope to open for the 2019-20 school year with security vestibules in place, VCT in place of old carpet and an updated security camera system in place. Other projects might be completed during the school year, and during the summer of 2020.
The administration has started collecting ideas regarding this process. Before plans are finalized, we need to hold the referendum vote (March 12, 2019) and approve our 2019-20 budget (April 18, 2019).
Our architect determined the occupancy of the classrooms based on requirements of N.J.A.C.6A:26-5 & -6, which allows discretion on the size of classrooms based on use and number of students.
The Board offices will remain in their current location in all scenarios.