Clifton Public School Bond Referendum Updates
As the summer unfolds, the Clifton Public Schools are hard at work, fulfilling the promise of the Clifton Public Schools Bond Referendum that was approved by voters on April 20, 2021. Clifton Superintendent of Schools Dr. Danny A. Robertozzi Ed.D. sent a letter dated Wednesday, July 5, 2023 to the Clifton Public Schools community and stakeholders, letting them know the status of the various bond referendum initiatives, the full text of which can be found HERE. Photos of the projects can be found HERE.
The Referendum: The Clifton Public Schools Bond Referendum raised $168 million dollars (of which $64.6 million was in aid from the State of New Jersey), and was the largest bond offering in the history of the State of New Jersey until recently. The funding is intended to pay for a comprehensive update to the aging equipment and facilities at Clifton Public Schools’ buildings, including the athletic complex at Woodrow Wilson Middle School (WWMS), as well as many of the other projects at the 18 schools to upgrade their facilities. The projects include ADA-compliant bathrooms, new HVAC systems, and security improvements. Under the terms of the referendum, the proposed timeline anticipated a lot of the work being done in the summer of 2023, with all of the projects substantially complete by the end of 2023. More details can be found at the Clifton School District’s website for the referendum HERE.
WWMS Athletic Complex: The WWMS Athletic Complex used to be plagued with long-standing flooding issues that made the field unusable after rains. In addition, it did not have enough seating or other support for the teams using it. The ow-completed improvements include the addition of seating and a simple field house for bathrooms, storage, and concessions. Robertozzi reports that progress continues on the Athletic Complex, which included the installation of artificial turf for the baseball and soccer fields and the fieldhouse. This complex will allow year-round access for our district and community youth athletic programs and physical education classes. For more on the as-yet-unnamed Athletic Complex, please read our article on the ribbon cutting HERE.
ADA-Accessible Restrooms: As part of the infrastructure updates, almost all of the schools will be receiving bathroom renovations to make them accessible to all learners, as required under the Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”). The exceptions for restroom work are School 17 and CELA B (Clifton Early Learning Academy Brighton), which are newer buildings that already had more modern bathrooms. To date, brand new, ADA-accessible restroom projects have been completed at Schools 3, 5, 11, 13, 14, 16, WWMS, CHS, and the Clifton Stadium.
HVAC Systems: One of the most extensive referendum projects is the installation of centralized all-purpose equipment to provide heating and cooling to the schools, to replace outdated and ineffective systems. This will result in savings on energy and repair costs and allow our students to thrive in a temperature-controlled learning environment. Air conditioning is also essential to the health of children and staff members who suffer from seasonal allergies and asthma. The groundwork is also being set this summer for our schools to have their new HVAC systems installed. This is a multi-step effort with different timelines for each school.
Security Updates: The referendum funding was intended to be used for security improvements that would include more cameras, integrated communications systems, upgraded doors for remote control, and entry vestibules to screen visitors. The proposal also included linking new phone, public address, and lighting systems with video surveillance and lockdown systems. In addition, remote access controls to nearly every door in the district were to be expanded. Robertozzi reports that these projects are currently underway.
Robertozzi wished all the Clifton Public Schools’ families a good summer and thanked the #OneClifton Community for supporting Clifton Public Schools, and invited people to keep updated on the summer construction projects on the district website under District Announcements, titled Bond Referendum, which will be updated with additional information, photos, and other details as projects are completed.