Montvale Cares About Its Future
Bond Referendum on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021
A bond referendum is a vote in which the school district seeks permission to borrow funds through the sale of bonds. The referendum process offers key benefits:
Giving the community a voice in determining the district’s future
Providing up-front funding for necessary building improvements by spreading the cost over time, similar to the way a consumer uses a mortgage
Enabling the school to receive state funding earmarked for districts where voters approved bonds
Research for this proposal included the community’s participation in our Strategic Plan, as well as a professional review of facilities. A bond referendum is an ideal way to address identified needs.
The last major renovations at Montvale Public Schools were made almost two decades ago, and a lot has changed since then. While our facilities and systems are well-maintained, they are aging and must be able to handle higher enrollment as our community grows in the coming years. Now is the time for Montvale to think about its future needs.
A 2019 demographic study projected an additional 100+ students in Montvale Public Schools over five years. Our strategic planning process indicated that the Montvale community highly values and wants to preserve small class sizes.
Changes to curriculum and practices have evolved – and our facilities need to keep up with a combination of new and re-purposed spaces.
Montvale’s fiscal responsibility, combined with state aid, can help fund security upgrades, restroom renovations, and other facility improvements.
The State Department of Education completed an in-depth review of Montvale’s proposal. Initially the district had planned a referendum for 2020, knowing that the property tax rate would fall after the district paid off debt from a previous referendum.
At its Sept. 27, 2021 meeting, the Board of Education agreed to put this on the ballot for public vote.
The district will ask residents to vote on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021. If approved, the bond referendum would result in a property tax increase in 2023. Project work will begin in the summer of 2022.
The proposed improvements are estimated to cost $29.4 million. With voter approval, state aid will contribute about $7.15 million, or 24%, to reduce the local share.
The tax impact of this bond referendum is estimated to be about $325 per year for a home assessed at Montvale’s average of $524,788.
The school district recently finished paying off debt that voters approved 20 years ago to build the Memorial kindergarten wing and gym. For the average home, the annual payment on that had gradually declined to about $100 until it was paid off in 2021. This proposal asks voters for a new investment to meet the evolving needs of the Montvale students and community.
A brief look at the proposed projects...
Fieldstone Middle School
Thoughtful re-purposing of space at Fieldstone for additional instructional space.
Media Center renovated into a state of the art STEAM Lab and Media Center that can make that interactive space the hub of the school.
Convert existing industrial arts classroom into modern classrooms for the art and music programs. The current space used by those programs would be renovated for additional instructional space.
Memorial Elementary School
5 new classrooms to accommodate the enrollment increase that is projected for Montvale.
STEAM Lab to give students the space to combine concepts from Science, Technology, Art, Math and Engineering.
Additional parking spots, a daily need to accommodate staff, parents and visitors.
What else is proposed?