October 7, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • Page 3 Franklin Lakes Voters approve local school district referendum by Frank J. McMahon Voters in last week’s referendum have approved the expenditure of $1.3 million for various capital improvements to the Franklin Lakes public schools. The turnout for the special election was light, with 819 voters, or about 11percent of the registered voters in the borough, going to the polls to vote for the capital improvements that were not included in the district’s last spending plan due to budgetary constraints. The vote on the special budget question was 492 in favor and 327 opposed. Capital improvement projects include roof repairs at High Mountain Road School, Woodside Avenue School, and Franklin Avenue Middle School where, according to School Board President Carmen Monte, an infrared analysis confirmed that 21,000 square feet of the middle school’s roof is worn, and leaking ceilings pose the threat of greater expense from water damage. The capital projects also include the replacement of the 40-year-old boilers at the Woodside Avenue School. Monte advised that, if these boilers broke in the middle of a school year, the cost would be significantly higher. She added that the new boilers would reduce utility costs. In addition, new security locks will be purchased to provide additional safety for the staff and students at the district’s schools. Monte emphasized that it is imperative that the school children and the staff have the fastest response possible to lockdown situations. She pointed out that the classroom doors at three of the district’s schools can only be locked from the outside. In a lockdown, Monte said, the teacher now has to lock the door from the outside, step back inside the classroom, and slam the door shut. The improvements will also include a bathroom upgrade of the middle school’s 40-plus-year-old bathrooms, which are not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act according to a recent state accountability report. Upgrading these bathrooms will make them accessible to all students. “We are extremely grateful for the support of the community in funding these important capital improvement projects for the district that would not normally be afford- able within our budget,” Monte said after the votes were counted. Monte pointed out that the approval of this referendum will now enable the district to complete these projects in a logical, well-planned manner. She said the district has been approved for a 40 percent state reimbursement for the capital improvements, which means the total cost of $1,327,900 will be reduced by 40 percent, or $531,160, for a net cost of $796,740 or $28 per year for the average borough household for eight years. Michael Solokas, the school district’s business administrator, advised that the security lock project will proceed immediately, and the roof, boiler, and bathroom projects will be done during the spring and summer of 2010. Joshua Marber will discuss the college admission process with teens and their families on Thursday, Oct. 8. The program will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Franklin Lakes Public Library. Marber, who has over 10 years of experience in the education, counseling, and college fields, will provide helpful information to get students started on the right road. “Choosing the Right College” will help answer questions on searching and visiting colleges, filling out appli- College search program offered cations and writing essays, choosing standardized tests, and what financial aid, scholarships, and grants are available. This free program is open to all area teens and their families. For more information about these programs or any other teen services provided through the library, contact Kate at (201) 891-2224 or kate_thelibrarian@yahoo. com. Further information is available on the library’s website at www.franklinlakeslibrary.org. 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