Letters

Vehement Opposition

Sep 20, 2017

To the Editor:

There has been continuous review of ongoing developments relating to the addition and renovations to the Ethel A. Jacobsen Elementary School and referendum as proposed by the board of education for the Long Beach Island Consolidated School District. There are facts to be considered when going to the polls on Sept. 26.

The report prepared by LAN Associates, on behalf of the school district, noted that the renovation cost for the LBI School in 2011 was approximately $4.2 million and the renovation cost for the E.J. School in 2011 was approximately $9.4 million. The amount has now ballooned to $18 million and climbing.

The boroughs of Surf City and Ship Bottom both made offers to purchase the Ethel Jacobsen School and the borough of Ship Bottom made offers on the Long Beach Island Grade School, all of which were rejected by the board.

In our opinion, there are significant issues with the proposed addition and renovations to the E.J. School, which will substantially add to the eventual cost of this ill-advised project such as:

• There is an easement that must be addressed.

• The board expects Surf City to provide water to a structure located in Ship Bottom.

• There is a storm drain running through the property that must be moved at an additional cost.

• Both proposed buildings must be in compliance with FEMA flood regulations as stated in a FEMA letter.

• There is a failure to include the addition of any necessary and new storage space, which will eventually require additional funding and construction.

• The plans are not the prudent choices, are excessive in scope, are not in the best interest of the children in the district, are not in the best interest of the district taxpayers, and do not support the public health, welfare and safety.

• School enrollment has been declining and seats are being filled with Choice Program students, the cost of which is being supplemented by district taxpayers. 

• There are serious questions regarding the cost per taxpayer.

These issues carry with them a cost yet uncalculated because they are being ignored in the haste of pushing forward at all costs.

We the undersigned cannot and do not support the board’s decisions, plans and proposed bonding of $18 million and vehemently oppose the Ethel A. Jacobsen Elementary school plans and bond referendum proposed by the board of education for the Long Beach Island Consolidated School District.

Francis R. Hodgson, Peter M. Hartney, John H. Klose, Jacqueline L. Siciliano, William D. Hodgson, John G. Hadash, James B. Russell

Surf City

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