School board moves forward with bond referendum

The estimated tax impact is expected to be $399.65 per year

The Cherry Hill board of education approved the special election for the bond referendum for Oct. 4, 2022. (EMILY LIU/The Sun)

The Cherry Hill board of education continued discussions on bond referendum recommendations at its June 13 meeting. 

Regarding the referendum, the board passed a resolution to schedule a special election for Oct. 4. During committee reports, board Vice President Miriam Stern reiterated that members had revised recommendations for the referendum to again include expansion and/or renovation of all-purpose rooms. The recommendations were previously taken out. 

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To stay within budget, the size of the storage area added to the East stadium was reduced, and it was decided not to expand the auxiliary (dance) gym at the school, though it will still be renovated. The referendum removes from the budget the addition of convenience outlets and classroom furniture at all schools.

The updated bond referendum also reduced the HVAC work at all schools because it could be funded through state Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds.

While several people at the meeting commented on ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) work, Assistant Superintendent Lynn Shugars said that work is still in the bond referendum and the only projects removed were paving at Stockton Elementary School and at the Lewis Administration Building, because that would be funded in other ways and completed sooner.

The revised referendum list would increase the tax impact from $394.80 to $399.65 for residents with the average assessed home of $225,473, but it is still under the goal of $400. Board members unanimously agreed in an informal discussion that the referendum should be a one-question measure. The board will make its decision to approve the recommended list at its next meeting on  Tuesday.

The board also continued its discussion on formalizing and creating a student-only comment portion at the beginning of meetings – after recognitions and before presentations – to respect the students’ schedules, given that  meetings typically last three to four hours.

The board also recognized the following organizations and individuals: 

  • Lizbeth Reyes and Emily Kratchman, who will serve as Cherry Hill West’s 2022-’23 school representatives, and Aiden Rood and Vivian Rong, who  will fulfill the same role at East.
  • The staff of East’s newspaper, Eastside Online, for winning the National Scholastic Press Association’s Online Pacemaker Award, the high-school  equivalent of a Pulitzer Prize. 
  • East’s Robotics K-Team and Z-Team for their success at the VEX Robotics World Championship in Texas in early May. Each team placed fourth in its  division after competing against 850 teams in 10 divisions from 50  countries.
  • Superintendent Dr. Joseph Meloche recognized retirees Don Bart, the district’s director of operations; Karen Rockhill, principal of Estelle V. Malberg Early Childhood Center; and Eleanor Stofman, president of the Cherry Hill Education Foundation.
  • The board welcomed Idalis Kizee as incoming principal of Barton Elementary School to replace Sean Sweeney. Kizee was principal at  Voorhees Middle School.. 

Tuesday’s board meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m., at the Arthur Lewis Administration Building.

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