HILLSDALE PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Modernizing the Middle School

VOTE: SEPTEMBER 17, 2024

At the Hillsdale Public Schools, we are proud to be a place where our students can continue to thrive through lifelong learning inside the classroom and outside in our community. For many of our learners, the George G. White Middle School serves as an important next step in their academic journey. 

The middle school is a cornerstone of our town. At 101 years old, it needs significant renovation to provide a modern educational environment and more instructional space as our district continues to grow. 

The opportunity to modernize George G. White Middle School, celebrate our learners past and present while preparing and innovating for the future is here!

Community engagement guided this plan.

Beginning in June of 2023, the Board of Education and district administration went back to the community for more extensive feedback. They listened to residents’ financial concerns and worked together to consider what options could move Hillsdale forward. Multiple "Referendum Options Considerations” meetings were open to all Hillsdale residents and provided opportunities for them to make suggestions.  

These engaging discussions narrowed the focus to three options.

                    grade back to them. 


Cost was a deciding factor for many of our residents, and we valued this important feedback throughout each public meeting and the process of developing the new proposal.

The new plan will likely cost around $61 million. The district may not know how much state aid will contribute toward that amount until July. This plan is $20 million less than the 2023 plan. It would resolve long-standing challenges of the middle school, meet student needs for decades, and allow for potential enrollment increases. Tax impact projections are here.

The ballot may offer choices.

The Board is taking steps toward a bond proposal tentatively planned for Tuesday, September 17. Like the last referendum, it would ask voters if the school district can borrow funds through the sale of bonds. 

Board members plan to split GW’s needs into two questions on the same ballot. Board members have discussed, but not finalized, an option to separate the need for renovation of the existing, old school and the need to add more instructional space. 

QUESTION 1 will propose full renovation of the existing structure of GW, including rebuilding the cafetorium/multipurpose room (MPR) and adding two classrooms. The question would include funding for the costs of modular, prefabricated classrooms for use during construction. 

QUESTION 2 will propose the construction of a new, two-story wing with six classrooms, including some sized for the group interaction and instructional materials commonly used in STEM and/or Robotics lessons.

The Board of Education plans to finalize the ballot proposal by mid July for the targeted vote date of September 17.

When will the community know more?

State approval is anticipated by July. That will include a commitment of state financial aid and it will finalize the estimated impact on local property taxes. 

The target of a September 17 date sets a timeline to submit preliminary plans for state approval, receive approval from the NJ Department of Education, and inform the community about the plan and cost details.

After the plan is finalized, there will be multiple opportunities for residents to learn about it.