Freehold Regional High School District Board of Education preparing referendum for October

Members of the Freehold Regional High School District Board of Education may take action April 23 on a proposed $39.8 million facilities referendum that could be placed before voters during a special election on Oct. 2.

The proposed referendum was discussed during a recent meeting by Business Administrator Sean Boyce and architect John Veisz of the firm of Fraytak, Veisz, Hopkins and Duthie. The board may vote to move forward with the plan when it meets on April 23.

The referendum is divided into four categories: Safety and Security; Modern Learning Environment; Athletic Facilities; and Infrastructure, according to the board.

The Safety and Security initiative address security vestibules, door lock upgrades and improvements to school public address systems. Upgrades are proposed at each of the district’s six high schools. The budget for the work is approximately $5 million.

The Modern Learning Environment initiative proposes the construction of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) classrooms at each school, auditorium renovations at Freehold High School, and media center renovations at Colts Neck High School. The budget for the work is approximately $10 million.

The Athletic Facilities initiative proposes renovations to the tennis courts and bleachers at each school, the installation of synthetic turf fields at Freehold Township High School, Manalapan High School and Marlboro High School, resurfacing Colts Neck’s track, and improvements to lighting at the Marlboro field. The budget for the work is approximately $14.2 million.

The Infrastructure initiative proposes repaving high traffic areas at all six schools, roofing work at each school (except Howell High School) and the installation of a new boiler at Marlboro. The budget for the work is approximately $10.4 million.

District officials have not said what the financial impact of the referendum will be on individual property owners in the eight municipalities that comprise the district: Colts Neck, Englishtown, Farmingdale, Freehold Borough, Freehold Township, Howell, Manalapan and Marlboro.

If voters approve the referendum, administrators foresee the security upgrades beginning in October.

Administrators said the next step would be the construction of the STEM classrooms, work on two tennis courts, one turf field, some roofing and paving projects, bleacher renovations and the replacement of the Marlboro boiler during the summer of 2019.

The final step would be the auditorium renovations at Freehold, the media center renovations at Colts Neck, the renovation of the remaining tennis courts, the installation of the remaining turf fields, the remaining roofing and paving projects, and the resurfacing of the Colts Neck track during the summer of 2020.