MANVILLE: Schools to get $1 million in state aid for roof, boiler projects

By Gene Robbins, Managing Editor
   Hillsborough and Manville schools will each get more than $1 million in state funds to help pay for construction projects.
   Hillsborough submitted applications for partial roof replacements at the high, middle, intermediate and Hillsborough Elementary schools.
   ”We are developing schedules for these projects now that approvals have been received,” school architect Gregory J. Somjen.
   ”We expect some or all to be undertaken during the summer of 2014, depending on a variety of factors,” he said.
   Hillsborough schools have been discussing other projects, like HVAC systems and other energy-related projects. Those have not been submitted to the Department of Education, Mr. Somjen said, and are “being clearly identified as we speak. Again some of these may also start next summer based on a variety of factors but will take longer to execute based on the scope.”
   Manville’s money will go to help pay for a boiler at the Weston School (45 percent of the project), as well as 45 percent of the cost of partial roof replacements at the high school and intermediate schools, said Superintendent Johanna Ruberto.
   Fifteen Somerset County districts will receive a total of $21.1 million to support 74 projects with a total of $49 million in construction.
   The DOE categorizes applications into three tiers, with Level 1 being the highest priority based on critical building upgrades, roof and window repairs, code issues, ADA upgrades, security systems and hazardous material abatement. The announced funding provides 40 percent of the cost of all Level 1 needs for all school districts in the state that submitted projects.
   Between state and local contributions, the total project costs of the 1,538 eligible statewide projects are estimated to exceed $1.1 billion. The $507.7 million in grants are contingent on local approval of the remaining cost to school districts.