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What All Will Be Included In The Projects in the Referendum?

The referendum projects have been divided into two questions for the ballot as outlined below.  Both questions would have to pass for the projects in Question 2 to be implemented.

 

Referendum Question 1:

 

Safety and Security

 

  • Create secure and welcoming entrances at ALL school buildings.

  • Update safety measures in various ways at all schools to meet today’s standards, including modern visitor screening and management systems and door, hardware, and glass security upgrades. 


HVAC/Sustainability/Maintenance 
 

  • Replace aging heating and cooling units and upgrade system control systems for more consistent and energy-efficient operation.

  • Add air conditioning to rooms that currently are not air conditioning, including classrooms, cafeterias, multi-purpose rooms, and the PHS gymnasium.

  • Make improvements around the drainage basin at PHS to mitigate costly flooding in the performing arts wing.

 

PHS Renovation
 

  • Increase capacity at PHS through a small addition of 4 classrooms.

  • Renovate guidance area to support improved services.

  • Create a partial second floor in the PHS fitness center to provide space for wrestling and other activities.

  • Make renovations to upgrade and enhance building mechanical system operation and efficiency.

 

New 5/6 School at Valley Road 
 

  • Build a new 5/6 school that will address overcrowding at John Witherspoon Middle School and enable elementary schools to absorb future growth.

  • Provide a smaller, more targeted learning environment for pre-adolescent students in a single facility that every student in the district will experience.

  • This facility will replace the existing Valley Road building and fields on the property will be upgraded with artificial turf.

 

Relocate Valley Road Administration, Transportation and Facilities
 

  • Purchase 15 acres and two existing office buildings at Thanet Circle for the employees, buses and equipment currently housed at the Valley Road site.

  • The property also will provide future options to add fields or expand the preschool program.

Athletics
 

  • Add safety netting to PHS lacrosse field. 

  • Build a small building near the PHS athletic fields for bathroom, concession, and storage. 

  • Provide access to water at the fields and new backstops, dugouts and scoreboards.

  • Add a motorized system to operate the bleachers in the PHS gymnasium that will reduce wear, extend their lifespan, and make it easier quickly to adapt the gym for various uses.

Referendum Question 2:

 

PHS Renovation

 

  • Increase capacity at PHS by approximately 400 students through adding classrooms of varied types and sizes to enable students to work in groups or study independently by transforming three internal courtyards into usable learning spaces.

  • Renovate current hallways and classrooms to create flexible, multi-purpose spaces of various sizes that align with district’s goals for teaching and learning.

  • Make additional renovations to upgrade and enhance the ability to program and schedule the existing space as well as enhance energy efficiency. This will include renovations to support the additional instructional spaces listed, programmable second floor space in the existing library, additional food service options around the building, renewal of aged finishes, improved mechanical systems, new flexible furniture, and other improvements.

  • Install turf on existing PHS lacrosse field to increase safety and support use by PE classes during the day.

 

UPGRADES TO FOUR EXISTING ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS AND JOHN WITHERSPOON MIDDLE SCHOOL 

  • Upgrades to aged mechanical and HVAC equipment.

  • Security enhancements that include construction of secure vestibules, visitor screening and management systems, door, hardware, and glass improvements related to safety.

  • Littlebrook Elementary and Riverside Elementary will have additional doors installed within the buildings to compartmentalize and restrict access to areas, facilitating safety and after-hours use.

  • Buildings will receive electrical service upgrades, additional outlets in instructional areas, and modifications to make the schools generator ready to meet future needs.

  • Add air conditioning to classrooms which are currently not air conditioned.

  • Add air conditioning to the cafeteria/multi-purpose rooms.

  • Accessibility improvements including door, hardware, and signage upgrades.

  • Littlebrook Elementary will receive upgrades to the existing media center

 

UPGRADES TO JW MIDDLE SCHOOL

  • A new covered and screened passageway between C and E wings will be created to facilitate passage between classes and enhance security.

  • Acoustic improvements in the cafeteria and commons (between the learning commons and the auditorium) will be installed to enhance usability of these areas.

  • The “old library” space will be renovated to support various uses. 

  • Additional parking will be constructed along Franklin Avenue.

 

UPGRADES TO PRINCETON HIGH SCHOOL

  • Upgrades to aged mechanical and HVAC equipment.

  • Security enhancements that include construction of a secure vestibule, visitor screening and management system, door, hardware, and glass improvements related to safety.

  • Electrical service upgrade and modifications to make the school generator ready.

  • Air conditioning in the Gym which is currently not air conditioned.

  • Upgrade of the existing elevator.

  • Replacement of the shingle roofing areas on the building.

  • Improvements in the area of the drainage basin by the PAC wing to mitigate water intrusion into the building in this area.  

 

RENOVATION AND EXPANSION OF PRINCETON HIGH SCHOOL

  • Capacity and program needs will be addressed through “inward” expansion and the capturing of unused space in existing courtyards. Additionally, approximately 2/3 of the classroom and instructional space will be renovated. Combined, these improvements will provide the capacity to address current and projected future space needs, transition the building’s aged classrooms into more contemporary learning space and providing learning opportunities that are not currently provided such as maker spaces, varied educational spaces to support different sized groupings and uses, and informal learning space to facilitate a diversity of learning and teaching modes. Additionally, expanding inward avoids stress on the already overbuilt high school site and will not eliminate fields or parking while still expanding the building substantially. This expansion will increase capacity at PHS through the addition of 23 instructional and specialized instruction spaces. Additionally, small group instruction space, faculty collaboration space, and large group instruction and gathering space will be added (not listed below):

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CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW GRADE 5/6 SCHOOL

  • A new grade 5/6 school will be constructed on the existing Valley Road site owned by the district. The existing building will be taken down; however, the design of the new school will incorporate the stone arch from the older portion of that building as well as design features to honor the history of education at that location. In addition to enabling the district to enhance the educational opportunities that can be delivered to students transitioning from elementary to middle school, this one new facility efficiently addresses projected enrollment and capacity needs for grades Pre-K through 8th grade. By pulling 5th grade students out of the elementary schools and 6th grade from the middle school building, those facilities can effectively address capacity needs. The new building will provide contemporary learning and teaching space, be sustainably designed, and provide a range of educational, community, and indoor/outdoor learning space. The building is being designed as a “community school” with spaces to be shared with community partners in support of family engagement, student health and academic enrichment.  

 

ATHLETIC AND FIELD UPGRADES

  • Valley Road: The fields at Valley Road will receive turf to expand their usability as well as underground drainage improvements to help the area perform better. Dugouts, upgraded backstops, a new scoreboard, and a retaining wall in the outfield of the varsity baseball field will be provided to enhance these facilities. Bathrooms that can be accessed from the outside of the building will help facilitate use of these fields on weekends and after school hours.

  • John Witherspoon Middle School: Improvement to softball infields, dugouts, upgraded backstops, a new scoreboard, and water access will be provided in the field areas. Additionally, operation of the gym bleachers will be motorized to reduce wear on these bleachers and extend their lifespan, and better facilitate changes of the space for different programs.

  • Princeton High School campus: Turf will be installed at the existing lacrosse field and safety netting will be erected between this field, other fields and the building. A concession/bathroom and storage building will be erected in the field area. Drainage improvements around the tennis courts will be made to avoid water damage as they age. Additionally, operation of the gym bleachers will be motorized to reduce wear on these bleachers and extend their lifespan, and better facilitate changes of the space for different programs. Some gym backboards will be replaced and the fitness center will be renovated to create a partial second floor in the space, provide space for wrestling as well as other activities, and wrestling mat lifts will be installed to maximize the flexibility of this and surrounding areas. Additionally some improvements will be undertaken in the locker room areas and water fountains will be installed in the athletic areas.    

 

ADMINISTRATION, OPERATIONS, MAINTENANCE AND TRANSPORTATION

  • To enable the existing Valley Road site to support the construction of the new 5/6 school, district administrative and operational functions will be relocated to a new site to be purchased as part of the referendum. This existing property has existing buildings that can be utilized for these functions as well as space that would support the IT department, currently located in the high school. This relocation would enable the creation of additional classroom space at the high school.

When Will The Construction Be Completed?

If the referendum is successful, construction will begin after the school year ends. Depending on the date of the referendum, the new 5/6 school should be completed within 2 years along with security upgrades at all of our schools and the updates to our athletics facilities. Princeton High School renovations will be undertaken in a phased manner over several years but should be completed by August 2023. 

What Happens If The Facilities Referendum Is Not Approved?

If voters do not approve the Facilities Referendum, The Princeton Public School District would still be facing growing enrollment across the district, and JW and PHS would still be operating well over capacity with crowded hallways and classrooms. We would be forced to significantly increase class sizes, reduce elective offerings, and take other actions that would compromise the educational excellence that is our district's hallmark. The District would also not be able to pay for safety and security upgrades or athletic enhancements from the operating budget, so those improvements would not be possible.