Marlboro voters reject $46.5M in school work

Staff Writer

MARLBORO – Voters rejected a $46.5 million construction referendum the Marlboro K-8 School District Board of Education placed before them on Nov. 3.

According to results posted on the Monmouth County website, the referendum question failed in a vote of 4,460 “no” to 2,077 “yes.” The results are unofficial until they are certified by the county.

The referendum was comprised of two major capital projects: renovations and an addition to the David C. Abbott Early Learning Center which would have allowed the district to offer full-day kindergarten to all pupils; and renovations at all of the district’s remaining schools, with the exception of the Marlboro Memorial Middle School.

Following the vote, a statement from the school board said, “The Marlboro Board of Education and administration thank all of the voters who voiced their opinions about the referendum through their ballots.

“The referendum was defeated and the board must now forge a plan that will address our aging infrastructure and capital needs. These needs are not erased with a defeated referendum.

“Our district must prepare for the future and develop a specific plan to ensure our facilities are safe and secure for our students and staff. The board will begin discussions of the next steps for both the infrastructure-capital improvements and full-day kindergarten.

“We welcome community members to come to our Nov. 12 workshop meeting at 7 p.m. in the administration building (in the municipal complex). The meeting will include a discussion regarding the next steps for both of these important topics,” the board said.

Work at the early learning center would have cost $20.3 million, according to information provided by the board. District officials proposed constructing a 28-classroom addition to the building.

Plans at the early learning center also called for the construction of a new cafeteria/ multipurpose room and the renovation of the school’s existing common areas.

Work at the Frank Defino Central Elementary School, the Frank J. Dugan Elementary School, the Marlboro Elementary School, the Robertsville Elementary School, the Asher Holmes Elementary School and the Marlboro Middle School would have cost $26.2 million and included the replacement of windows, fire alarm systems, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, electrical systems and boilers.