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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Nov 08, 2017

Township Voters Approve School District’s Holmdel 2020 Referendum

The Holmdel Township Board of Education extends thanks to the community for its support of the Holmdel 2020 Initiative, a plan to make significant enhancements to the district’s four schools. The referendum was approved by voters on September 26 by a vote of 1,020 to 675. “The entire board of education and I are very pleased that the town has overwhelmingly approved the Holmdel 2020 Initiative,” said board president Joseph Hammer. “This critical investment in our schools’ infrastructure and our children’s education will dramatically improve our district.”

The result of more than a year of collective efforts, the $40.3 million referendum is designed to enhance the district’s academic, athletic, and arts infrastructure, and, as a result, programs at all levels, with a particular emphasis on updating the William R. Satz School. The Satz building opened to Holmdel students in 1968 as Holmdel Intermediate School and has remained fairly unchanged since it was first constructed.

Building upon the existing infrastructure of the Satz-Holmdel High School Complex, the initiative will create a state-of-the-art educational complex for grades 7 to 12 that will transform teaching and learning in those grades through the creation of actual science labs for grades seven and eight, the addition of the first engineering lab for the district, renovation and expansion of art spaces, the addition of the district’s first robotics room, and transformation of media centers at both Satz School and the high school into centers for information, inspiration, and innovation.

Superintendent Dr. Robert McGarry echoed Mr. Hammer’s sentiment. “We are thankful to the community for taking the time to vote for this important and strategic referendum,” he said. “I am pleased that the community agreed with our position that our community can’t allow aging and outdated facilities to place limits on what our students are capable of achieving.”

The total cost of the referendum is $40.3 million. “This is a smart time for the district to be considering these enhancements, as we are retiring debt from bonds that previously funded additions and renovations to our schools in 1996 and in 2001,” explained Dr. McGarry prior to the September 26 public vote on the plan. “These new projects are also eligible for more than $9.5 million in debt service aid from the state, lessening the financial burden on the community.” With the current low interest rate environment, the timing of this particular referendum is especially financially prudent. The estimated tax impact will be a $159 net increase on the average assessed home (a home assessed at $657,288 in Holmdel). The table below indicates the net fiscal year impact on various assessed home values in Holmdel:

Assessed Value of Home Net Fiscal Year Impact

$300,000 $72

$400,000 $97

$500,000 $121

$600,000 $159

$700,000 $169

The district administration and board will be working in the coming months to establish a detailed timeline for the various projects, which are expected to be complete by the start of the 2020-2021 school year. The full scope of the approved Holmdel 2020 Initiative can be viewed on the district’s website at www.holmdelschools.org.