KEYPORT – Improvements that were included in a $16.7 million bond referendum that residents approved last fall are underway at Keyport High School and Keyport Central School.
On Nov. 6, the referendum was approved in a vote of 1,364 “yes” to 955 “no.” Keyport has about 4,500 registered voters.
The Keyport Central School, which educates students in preschool through eighth grade, and Keyport High School, which educates students in grades nine through 12, will have repairs and upgrades completed. Work is taking place this summer and is also expected to take place during the summer of 2020.
In an interview on July 31, Keyport Public Schools Superintendent of Schools Lisa Savoia said the following work will be completed or has been completed at the high school: the existing front entrance has been demolished; masonry work for new stairs and a ramp are in progress; excavation and waterproofing is underway; stairs for a secure vestibule have been installed; and locks on classroom doors have been installed.
She explained that a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system will be installed at the high school during the summer of 2020.
Savoia said the following work has been completed or will soon be completed at Keyport Central School: certain ceilings have been demolished; new ventilators were placed in classrooms; new boilers have been assembled; new vinyl composition tile flooring was laid in classrooms; secure classroom door locks have been installed; and electrical panels have been replaced.
Savoia said a secure vestibule, a ramp that will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and new fire alarms will be installed before the 2019-20 school year begins.
Asked if pupils will notice the upgrades when they return in September, Savoia said students at Keyport Central School will experience a healthier learning environment. A new HVAC system will provide better air circulation. Savoia said air conditioning was previously in place only for technology and medical needs.
The owner of a home assessed at the borough average of $255,351 is expected to pay about $160 more annually in school taxes for 20 years with the passage of the referendum, according to district administrators.
The exact increase in school taxes a property owner will pay will depend on the assessed value of his home and/or property.
Business Administrator Anthony Rapolla previously said state aid was anticipated to cover 40 percent (approximately $6.5 million) of the referendum’s eligible costs of $16.2 million.