Montvale Cares About Its Future

Bond Referendum on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021

The Montvale Board of Education will ask the community to vote on funding for building projects that will reflect the community goals of small class sizes and facilities to meet future education needs.


Montvale prides itself on being a community that is dedicated to serving its children and preparing them to lead in an ever-changing world. Our small class sizes and supportive community have made Montvale a valued place to raise a family.


Montvale Public Schools collaborated with the community in 2019 on the district’s strategic plan, as well as a professional review of facilities. The plan reaffirmed the community’s support for small class sizes and desire to see facilities that meet future education needs. Voter approval of this bond referendum will give us a strong, financially smart path to accomplish both.


The Montvale Board of Education will ask residents to vote on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021, on funding for facility improvements and the construction of additional classrooms. In the months leading up to the vote, the district will offer many opportunities for residents to learn about the proposal and to hear and see firsthand what the improvements would mean for the schools and community.

Have a question that you don’t see addressed?

Learn more about the bond referendum Projects and Financials.

What?

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.

Why?

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.

When?

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.

How much?

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?

  • Restrooms in both schools would be renovated. Also, at Fieldstone, add a stand-alone restroom facility adjacent to the athletic fields for use by the community.

  • The Fieldstone entrance would be revised with an ADA-compliant ramp and security improvements in front of the school.

  • Other security features would include replacing classroom doors and locksets that are original to the building, and upgrading the fire alarm system with modern technology.

  • Fieldstone has some heat-generating boilers that are original to the building’s 1966 construction. It’s time to replace the boilers at both Memorial and Fieldstone for cost-efficiency and reliability.


  • Unit ventilators, which bring heat and fresh air to classrooms, are due for upgrades, and they would gradually replace window air conditioners that are not cost efficient.

Mark your calendar!

Montvale Public Schools will host a virtual information session for residents to learn more about the referendum on Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 7 pm. Representatives who can speak about the referendum will also attend special events in the community.