update: all projects have been completed

January 2023: When we proposed improvements to our schools in 2019, the majority of voters approved the plan that would update our facilities, make them more accessible, and bring us into the 21st century. We worked hard to inform you of the changes and how they would benefit our students and our community – for now, and for many years to come. 

We are pleased to share the work has been completed on time and under budget, despite a few tweaks and supply chain issues. It was incredible watching these improvements, additions, and updates take shape and even more gratifying to see our students and teachers in the spaces, using them to their full potential.

Thank you, the residents of Rutherford, for supporting these projects and our district. 

While many of you have been able to see some of the bigger projects take shape while driving around town, we wanted to bring you inside our schools to see what your support made possible.  

Click on the video above to take a tour with Superintendent Jack Hurley.

The Rutherford district will continue to use the website OneRutherford.com to keep historical background intact and share updated information.

School-by-School Summary, with time targets and contract details

Kindergarten Center – Work started in spring 2020 to add a restroom to the Nurse’s Office (completed: fall 2020) and to add an elevator to provide complete accessibility to the multi-level building (completed: summer 2021). Installation of a new heating/cooling system for the Multi-Purpose Room is targeted to start and finish in summer 2021. Brahma Construction of Wayne submitted the low bid of $1,939,412, which was slightly higher than initial projections made when the district prepared for a bond referendum.

Lincoln – In 2020, workers began to build two classrooms atop the existing addition to provide critically needed academic and co-curricular space (completed: summer 2021). Norwood-based Catcord Construction Co. Inc. submitted the low bid of $787,910, which was significantly lower than initial projections made when the district prepared for a bond referendum.

Pierrepont – Work started late in summer 2020 to build a full-sized gym with a stage addition (completed: fall 2021). The current gym was demolished in summer 2021, and construction will start on a two-story, 11-classroom wing (target completion: before the 2022-23 school year starts).

Renovation of Pierrepont's Multi-Purpose Room will begin in the spring (target completion: summer 2022). Bismark Construction Corp. of Newark submitted the low bid for a total contract value of $12,498,000, which was very close to the initial cost projection.

Union School – In 2020, workers began replacing moisture-damaged floors, providing a long-term solution to the problem that led to that condition, and restoring the school’s front columns (completed: spring 2021). Construction has begun to build a new gym (target completion: January 2022). Work has begun to convert the old gym into three learning labs (target completion: spring 2022). Drill Construction of West Orange submitted the low bid of $500,650 for the floor work, which was significantly lower than initial projections made when the district prepared for a bond referendum. A separate contract was awarded for work to restore the columns outside the front entrance, build a new gym, and convert the old gym into three new learning labs. That contract was awarded to H&S Construction & Mechanical of Elizabeth. That lowest bid of $7,386,900 was slightly lower than projections.

High SchoolFour science labs have been modernized (completed: 2021). Practical, LLC in Ridgewood submitted the low bid of $1,260,000, which was lower than initial projections made when the district prepared for a bond referendum.

Overhauling the Mortimer Wing will be challenging because it is heavily used. The timeline calls for that work to be done mostly during summers (target completion: late 2023). The Rutherford Board of Education awarded a contract for those renovations to ALNA Construction of Secaucus. The work includes an upgrade to HVAC systems throughout the wing and replacement of the façade on both sides of the wing (target completion: 2022). The contract amount of $6,530,000 was significantly lower than expected.

the "One Rutherford" plan recognizeD varied interests with a united goal

Your Board of Education learned from public commentary after a 2018 vote that the community wants to keep the High School pool intact, and wants a more affordable way to maintain the excellence of Rutherford schools. A new plan in 2019 reflected those goals, but still met very real needs.

To stay competitive as a housing market and as a school district, Rutherford needed additional space to contend with a rise in enrollment and improved facilities to meet educational standards. Voter-approved bond-funded projects are addressing:

The One Rutherford plan also capitalizes on state aid to cover about $9 million of project costs. (That aid is not available for costs paid for from the annual operating budget.)

That’s the nutshell version, but this site offers more project details including a school-by-school breakdown showing what improvements will be made.