Cinnaminson School District has received "informal" approval from the state for its long-gestating capital improvement plan, but how much money the district will get, and when, is still unknown.
Superintendent Salvatore Illuzzi said architect Robert Garrison has met with representatives from the Department of Education twice in the last few months, and the indication from those meetings is that Cinnaminson's application is a go. However, the district has not been officially approved.
"The problem at this point is not us," said Illuzzi, "it is the number of districts that submitted applications. As of last Thursday, the department had not reviewed all the proposals."
However, hundreds of other districts, many submitting multiple proposals, also applied to the state for a piece of the more than $400 million worth of aid that's up for grabs. Illuzzi said the Department of Education has received about 3,000 applications altogether. The deadline for application was Sept. 4.
Cinnaminson officials are still confident their applications—plural—will be approved, but how much state support the district will receive is unclear.
And of course, even if the state grants the money, the board still has to go to the public for approval to bond the rest. Illuzzi said the board was hoping to receive formal approval by early October, followed by a Dec. 10 referendum (legally the district has to advertise the referendum for 60 days prior).
Given the delay at the state level however, the superintendent said a Jan. 28 referendum is much more likely. After that, the only two remaining dates for special referendums are March 11 and Sept. 30. School officials statewide are anticipating the grants will be approved in November—around the time of the gubernatorial election.
Illuzzi said so far the level of support from the community seems to be very positive.
"The response our board members have been getting is very supportive of the project," he said.