School board breaks down spending in $2.9 million improvement plans

Vernon. From bridges to balconies to tennis courts, the Vernon schools tackle long-delayed projects.

| 29 Mar 2022 | 02:25

The Vernon Township School board on March 24 approved six improvement projects totaling about $2.9 million.

The district selected EI Associates, Architects and Engineers, to do the work, and is not seeking aid for debt service. The district submitted the project to the New Jersey Department of Education.

The district approved:

● The main breaker replacement at the high school, $87,772

● The window replacement at Vernon Township High School, $1,485,000

● Window replacement at Glen Meadow Middle School, $568,000

● Glen Meadow Music Room acoustic upgrades, $184,413

● Bridge and balcony repairs at Glen Meadow, $500,000

● Tennis court reconstruction at the high school, $460,000

“It’s been a long time coming for these projects,” said school board president Kelly Mitchell.

The measure passed 8-0. School board member Martin O’Donnell was absent.

The resolution appointed EI Associates to represent the school board. The firm will submit all required education and schematic plans.

‘A safe and healthy environment for everyone’

The main breaker replacement at the high school is the only project to be paid for out of the 2021-22 budget. The rest are budgeted for 2022-23.

The breaker project will replace a 6,000-amp circuit breaker that Superintendent Karen D’Avino said was taken out of the budget four years in a row.

The high school and Glen Meadow windows have both aged and are not properly sealed and insulated. They’re the culprits behind drafts, energy loss, and a lack of fresh air.

The Glen Meadow band room is a former shop room and has minimal soundproofing. The sounds from the room disturb surrounding students, and lessons are taught in the hallways. D’Avino said the decibels also have been outside of the safe range.

The Glen Meadow bridge and balcony is in disrepair, D’Avino said. It has structural problems and presents a significant safety hazard.

“We really want to make sure we have a safe and healthy environment for everyone,” D’Avino said.

The tennis courts are cracked, and repairs have been required. The project will look into the underlayment and compaction at the courts.

“It’s been a long time coming for these projects.” School board president Kelly Mitchell