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‘Just think about the possibilities’

Voters will decide on bond referendum to fund school district upgrades

Courtesy of Garrison Architects
A rendering of the new Palmyra Middle/High School entrance and main office area reconfiguration.

Voters will head to the polls on March 12 to decide whether or not to approve an $18.4- million bond referendum that school district officials say will address much needed interior and exterior improvements at Palmyra’s aging school buildings.

“It’s time that we make the investment in improving these buildings,” Interim School Superintendent Mark Pease said. “Our students deserve it, our community deserves it and so does our staff.

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“This bond will allow us to increase classroom space to accommodate the increase of students here at the high school and at Charles Street School,” he added.

Upgrades would include improving nurses’ suites in both schools and a new, more comfortable cafeteria space at the high school that will have an expanded patio seating area.

“Right now, Charles Street School does not have a safety vestibule,” Pease explained. “By adding one, it just elevates our security safety in our school district, making sure individuals that we don’t want in the buildings don’t get in.

“This bond plays a huge part in student safety and making sure that our students and staff feel comfortable coming into a place that is safe.”

A presentation of the bond referendum by Garrison Architects is on the district website. The estimated cost of improvements at the K-5 Charles Street School is $7.9 million, which includes a new American Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant surfaced playground; roof replacement; exterior door replacement; a new main entrance security vestibule and office renovation; and a number of interior renovations, including bathroom, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) and electrical systems.

The estimated cost of improvements at Palmyra’s middle and high school is $10.6 million, for work that will include a new auxiliary gym; renovations and conversions of existing spaces – main office, guidance suite, and library suite – for additional classroom space; work to bathrooms, the science lab and the auditorium; and a new middle/high school entrance and main office area reconfiguration.

The tax impact of the referendum for an average assessed home of $148,497 is $284.90, according to the presentation.

In a video overview of the referendum, Pease described his love of the borough school district.

“It’s a great community with rich traditions,” he pointed out. “It’s a close-knit hardworking community and it deserves the best. It’s important that these students have the opportunities – the same opportunities – as some of our neighboring school districts and that they are on a level playing field.

“I think it’s important just to know that what we’re asking for is for our young people, the most valuable resource to our community … ” Pease added.

“We need to make our investments to our young people to be successful.”

For more information about the referendum, visit https://www.palmyraschools.com/page/referendum


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