Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Lyndhurst Sets Vote on School Fixes

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Lyndhurst Sets Vote on School Fixes

Article excerpt

LYNDHURST -- As hundreds of residents looked on, municipal and school board officials on Tuesday evening agreed to hold a referendum on Election Day in November to let voters decide if they want to help finance $19 million in improvements to the district's schools.

The resolution that the Board of Commissioners and the Board of Education passed unanimously at their joint meeting also finalized their plans to authorize the $53 million construction of a junior high school on Matera Field. There was a standing-room-only audience at the Lyndhurst Senior Citizen Center, with one official estimating that about 400 people were present.

"The signing of this document means we are building a junior high school," Township Attorney Rich DiLascio said.

The resolution culminates several years of planning by local officials to try to update what Mayor Robert Giangeruso characterized as the township's "antiquated and deteriorated" schools, particularly Lincoln Elementary School, which is more than 100 years old.

School board Vice President Joseph Abruscato described Lincoln School as "a disaster" that must be replaced. He and each member of the school board and board of commissioners explained why they were voting for the resolution.

In January last year the board of commissioners unveiled its plan to condemn the Lincoln School and build the new junior high school, which would serve Grades 7 to 9 and accommodate about 650 students. The township plans to essentially reallocate money to foot the bill for the new facility, DiLascio said.

For example, the eventual sale of the Lincoln School property to a developer will help pay for the junior high school, according to officials. In addition, as of a year ago Lyndhurst no longer has to pay into a Meadowlands tax-sharing pool, which some years cost the township nearly $900,000, freeing up funds to go toward the new school. …

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