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State OKs $6.5 Million for Cinnaminson School Projects

The district had applied for funding to be used toward multiple capital projects, including upgrades to the high school and enhanced security at all four schools.

The Christie administration approved $6.5 million in state aid to help fund capital projects at Cinnaminson School District.
The Christie administration approved $6.5 million in state aid to help fund capital projects at Cinnaminson School District.
Some of the details are still unclear, but Cinnaminson is in line to receive $6.5 million in state aid to fund major capital projects at its schools.

Superintendent Salvatore Illuzzi said the district was notified Thursday that the state had approved  the funding. However, exactly what the district will be allowed to use that money for is as yet unclear.

The district must now wait for guidance from the Department of Education's Office of School Facilities, which will spell out specifically how Cinnaminson can spend the grant, Illuzzi explained.

Cinnaminson had submitted applications for projects at all four schools, totaling approximately $39 million. However, the total project cost returned by the state is roughly slightly less than $16.3 million, which suggests that certain aspects of the project were excised by the state.

The biggest chunk of the project is for various improvements to all four schools, primarily the high school, including: upgraded HVAC (high school); a new roof, windows and doors (high school); handicap accessibility to the second floor of the high school; and improved security at school entrances (all four schools).

The district is waiting to get more information, but Illuzzi said, "It looks like they are going to exclude from aid certain portions of the project."

He speculated that the state may have hacked off big-ticket items from the district's application, such as the new high school gymnasium and tennis courts—which combined cost around $7 million—due to receiving an extremely high number of applications statewide.

According to information provided by Sen. Diane Allen's office, $46.7 million in state funding was approved to support $103 million in school construction projects across Burlington County. Statewide, the Christie administration approved $507.7 million in funds for 1,538 individual school construction projects in 331 school districts.

School districts have four opportunities next year to hold referendums asking voters to approve funding for capital projects: January, March, September and December. Illuzzi said the earliest Cinnaminson would be prepared to hold a referendum is September, meaning construction likely wouldn't begin until 2015.

"What it really means is everything gets delayed by one year, which is disappointing, but what are you going to do," he said. "We're just grateful this part of the process is behind us."

The district has 18 months from the time it receives information from the Office of School Facilities to produce the local share of the funding. The state grant is contingent on approval of the referendum.

Visit the district website to review the full scope of the capital improvement plan.
John December 06, 2013 at 07:25 PM
Maybe they took a look at the information an said enough is enough...I guess they are TRYING TO CUT DOWN maybe we should also....
John December 09, 2013 at 12:56 PM
Wow, no comments from the peanut gallery amazing...Just lie there and take the increases in taxes....
Alison Perry December 09, 2013 at 01:08 PM
I wonder what else the state cut out if the original was $39 million and the state says $16 million?
AnoninCinna December 09, 2013 at 03:05 PM
This is great news! Many of the renovations were for increasing student safety and preventing unnecessary access to the schools (safety vestibules). You cannot put a price on the safety of our kids! A new gym and tennis courts can wait, but we should not wait until there is a tragedy to take whatever preventative measures we can.
John December 09, 2013 at 05:41 PM
oh boy, this is not real, if U believe its for safety I have some land to sell U in Fla Wetlands....
Brian N December 10, 2013 at 08:40 AM
No question they need safety improvements. This is much needed and welcomed.

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