Home Cherry Hill News Cherry Hill board of ed announces updates on referendum projects

Cherry Hill board of ed announces updates on referendum projects

They include roofing and updates to all-purpose rooms

Cherry Hill East is slated to have a new stadium and lights by spring 2024. (EMILY LIU/The Sun)

After more than two years of planning and a successful vote on the bond referendum, Cherry Hill school projects are getting underway.

Board of Education Vice President Joel Mayer recently gave an update on some of the projects  and reported that a number of those put out to bid have come back under budget, something he said is a good thing.

The projects include roofing on 10 school buildings, the addition of stadium lights and an update on the venue at Cherry Hill East, updated designs for all-purpose rooms (APR) at the elementary schools, asbestos removal and remediation and new lockers in the B-wing at Rosa Middle School and new ideas on how to repurpose and refurbish the closed dance studio at East

Though there was some delay in getting approval for the stadium lights, the project was cleared by the township so work can begin.

“[The project] also includes new stands, new seating, about 1,800 total seats,” said Mayer. “They’ll also be color coded red to match the theme of Cherry Hill East, together with a new press box and cameras. All of that should be complete no later than the spring. (Work) is going to start in October.”

Mayer explained that the APR designs were created so parents can have a better view of stage performances, as well as other considerations. 

“They’ve thought through very carefully the designs with regards to ingress, egress, security, HVAC, (and) roofing,” he noted. “(I was) really impressed with how much time and effort they’ve put into it.”

Mayer also reported that the Cherry Hill Tomorrow website has been updated with a timeline of what projects are happening where and when. Visit https://www.chclc.org/Page/2651 to see the summary.

In light of Superintendent Dr. Joseph Meloche’s retirement, the board also discussed  preserving knowledge and potential succession plans for the future. No action was taken, but the discussion was not limited to the search for a new superintendent.

“I don’t feel that we properly retain information enough for succession planning,” said school board member Corrien Elmore-Stratton. “And specifically for the board members, we don’t have a lot of things documented that we can refer back to … We’re getting ready to lose something that I think we’re going to soon realize how much knowledge was there that we won’t have access to and we haven’t documented properly.

“I just don’t want us to be constantly spinning our wheels on the same thing when there were boards that have done it before.”

Elmore-Stratton offered redistricting as an example of her point.

“We should have a playbook to go back to at least as a baseline to start,” she remarked. “When we’re ready to redistrict, there should have been a play book to at least go back to a start and not, ‘Hey, Dr. Meloche, what happened in 1987 when they redistricted the first time?’ 

“I think we need to have a playbook to start from.”

Board President Miriam Stern felt differently about the subject.

“There is a lot more that we don’t know about on the daily runnings,” she said. “There is a whole lot … I don’t want the message to be that those things aren’t documented;  there’s not long history.

“… What’s happening on the staff side, the administrative side, is a lot of that work already we just often don’t know about it because we’re not involved in some of that granular level,” she added.

The next board of education meeting will be Tuesday, April 25, at 6:30 p.m.

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