Pinelands Repair Referendum Passes

LITTLE EGG HARBOR – The referendum to repair the aging infrastructure at Pinelands Regional High School and Middle School passed last night.

A statement on the school website from interim Superintendent Maryann Banks thanked voters and also thanked people for spreading the word about the referendum.

The total referendum will be $53.6 million, of which 40 percent will be covered by the state. The district will bond for the money, and pay it off over 25 years.

There were three questions on the ballot. The first question passed 2,022 votes to 1,506. The second question passed 1,914 to 1,585. The third question passed 1,857 to 1,644. The Ocean County Board of Elections stated that these numbers have not been certified yet.


The first question involves the following improvements at the high school:

  •        Rear parking lot and drainage
  •        Exterior doors
  •        Roofing
  •        Brickwork
  •        Windows
  •        Fire-rated stair tower doors and side lights
  •        Security on exterior and interior
  •        Restroom renovations
  •        Lighting
  •        HVAC improvements or replacements
  •        Safety equipment for home economics and shop classrooms

The first question would also make the following improvements to the middle school:

  •        Parking lot improvements, expansion, and drainage
  •        Curbing, steps and sidewalks
  •        Exterior doors
  •        Roofing
  •        Restrooms
  •        Lighting
  •        HVAC improvements or replacements
  •        Security system and PA system

The second question would make these improvements to the high school:

  •        Front entrance security
  •        Outside lighting
  •        Flooring, ceiling, and lighting in the front entrance
  •        Remodeling and changing the location of several interior offices
  •        Library lighting, ceiling and shelving
  •        Compliancy with the Americans with Disabilities Act
  •        Information technology system upgrades

The second question would make these improvements to the middle school:

  •        Concrete, pavers and landscaping for entrance
  •        Front entrance security with school insignia
  •        Digital sign
  •        Widening the bus lane
  •        Retaining wall
  •        Exterior lighting and curbs
  •        Compliancy with the Americans with Disabilities Act
  •        Information technology system upgrades
  •        Gym scoreboard

The third question would make the following changes to the athletic fields:

  •        New natural grass field with lighting and drainage
  •        Running track resurfacing
  •        Fencing
  •        Tennis court resurfacing, nets and fencing
  •        Sidewalks

The referendum had failed in November. School officials decided to put it to vote again in January because they thought that the highly political November election might have tainted the results. Two controversial state questions about gambling and the gas tax were also on the ballot, and officials thought that voters might vote “no” across all the questions.

In November, the first question failed by just 98 votes, 5,512 to 5,414. The second and third questions’ vote totals would only matter if the first question passed. They did not do as well. The second question failed by 364 votes, 5,220 to 4,856. The third question failed by 749 votes, 5,502 to 4,753.