Home Palmyra News ‘Safer schools and improved facilities’

‘Safer schools and improved facilities’

Palmyra voters unanimously support district bond referendum

The Palmyra school district web page features a colorful picture of the words “thank you.”

“… We would like to thank our community, our families, our alumni for voting to support our bond referendum,” the message states.

That community support was overwhelming: with 655 yes votes and 400 no votes for the $18.4-million bond referendum. Some 1,057 voters cast ballots during the referendum on March 12; there are 7,955 registered voters in the borough.

“We are extremely excited and overjoyed that the residents of Palmyra voted in favor of the bond referendum,” Interim Schools Superintendent Mark Pease said. “The community understands the needs of the district and the importance of making the investment in our schools, and especially our young people.

“This bond represents safer schools and improved facilities for our teachers and students to work and learn in.”

Pease went on to thank the “community, parents, students, staff, PTA (parent teacher association), architect Bob Garrison, Business Administrator Jared Toscano and the board of education for their hard work and positive energy” during the referendum process. 

“The next steps will involve meetings with our architect (Garrison) to develop timelines, create RFPs (requests for proposal) and bids for the various projects,” he added.

Leading up to the vote, school officials said the referendum would address much needed interior and exterior improvements for Palmyra’s aging school buildings.

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

Building upgrades would include improving nurses’ suites at both of those 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 and library suites – for additional classroom space; work on 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. For more information, visit https://www.palmyraschools.com/page/referendum

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