Robbinsville Board of Education approves energy saving plan

At its regular Board meeting on July 31, 2012 the Robbinsville Board of Education unanimously approved an Energy Savings Improvement Plan (ESIP) that will permit the district to replace or repair nearly $4 million of its HVAC, mechanical controls, windows, and even portions of leaking roofs at no cost to the taxpayer.  Further, signing the ESIP reduced the proposed December 2012 facility referendum by nearly $1 million dollars.

Since the defeat of the 2010 $39.6 million referendum that would have added an elementary school and refreshed the district’s most dated facilities, the Robbinsville Board of Education has worked diligently to address facility and space needs. With each step in the process, the Board remainedsensitive tothe impact on local taxpayers.   Authorizing the ESIP represents the end of many months of auditing and prioritizing needs and permits the district to use energy savings to fund much needed repairs to failing equipment.  It also permits cost avoidance to be applied to other facility problems such as the leaky roof at Pond Road School and the need for HVAC system controls.  The ESIP allows the school district to address several significant problems without raising tax dollars.

Because the ESIP ties directly into several of the proposed projects included in the December 2012 referendum, the district isable to reduce the total cost of the referendum by $969,344 making the final tally for needed repairs and additions $18.9 million, down nearly $21 million from the 2010 proposal.  This referendum is the result of many months of brainstorming and creative thinking by the Robbinsville Board of Education whose members have worked tirelessly to develop a responsible yet comprehensive long-term solution to the district’s crowding in our K through 8 facilities.

The projects to be proposed in the referendum include renovating the oldest sections of Sharon School (floors, ceilings, windows, and lighting), renovating and expanding the cafeterias at Sharon and Pond Road, adding five classrooms at Pond and 24 classrooms at Sharon, and adding a new gymnasium at Sharon.  These additions and renovations will permit Sharon School to house grades Pre K to 4 and Pond Road School to house grades 5 to 8 into the foreseeable future.

According to Superintendent Steve Mayer, “Developing the ESIP and the proposed referendum simultaneously reflects outstanding forethought and creative thinking by the Robbinsville Board of Education.  I am very pleased to have two projects that address much needed facility issues in our community and look forward to implementing a strong long-term plan for moving our district forward.”

Please check the district homepage (www.robbinsville.k12.nj.us) for the most current information about the school district and for the dates and times of community forums to discuss the proposed referendum.