The Superintendent’s Corner Column

Referendum Update

November 2014

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” Henry Ford

The past several months have been filled with hard work, due diligence, and continuous progress in our plan to effectively coordinate the referendum project that the Verona taxpayers overwhelmingly supported in March 2014. We have been engaged in project meetings, architectural planning, and the collection of valuable stakeholder input in order to ensure the best plan for our district schools that will benefit all of our students. The referendum project is composed of significant improvements to technology infrastructure and school security, mechanical system upgrades, the VHS music room addition, and the multi-purpose field project that will support the marching band and athletic programs (football, soccer, tennis, baseball, softball, and lacrosse).

Multi-Purpose Field Project

The Verona Township Planning Board is in receipt of our project submittal as of October 3, 2014. The Verona Public Schools has gathered feedback from the Verona Township engineer on the field project design and made appropriate modifications as necessary. Restroom facilities will be included in the field proposal as an alternate that will go out to bid in January. If the addition of restroom facilities becomes cost prohibitive through the bid process, the school district is prepared to incorporate the addition of these facilities through our operating budget at a reduced cost to taxpayers. Our district staff is extremely capable of a restroom facility installation similar to the Verona High School student bathroom improvement project recently completed in September 2014.

The district recently held a follow up field committee meeting with our representative stakeholders from the Verona community to provide an update on the field project. This meeting also awarded our team an opportunity to obtain additional input on the field design. The committee insight was greatly appreciated and we are confident that we have a sound plan moving forward.

The school district plan remains to bid the project in January 2015 and award a contract by late February/early March. Anticipated commencement of the field project is March 2015, weather permitting, with successful completion by August 2015 in time for Verona students to participate in the Fall 2015 season.

The Verona Planning Board’s Capital Review of the Verona Board of Education’s Field and Music Room Projects for the High School will be held on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 7:30 pm at the Verona Community Center, 880 Bloomfield Avenue, Verona, N.J. Presentation to the Planning Board will be conducted by the Verona Board of Education attorney, French and Parrello Associates, and Mylan Architectural Group on the field project and music room addition. The Planning Board meeting is open to the public.

Building Based Projects

The Verona High School music room addition plans are being finalized with feedback from committee representatives. This addition will provide the high school with the necessary space and accommodations to support the size and needs of our successful music program. Mylan Architectural Group is nearing completion of specifications for the exterior door project that will improve all district schools. EI Associates is performing calculations based on occupancy and ASHRAE standards to determine equipment size needs for the VHS mechanical systems.

Technology/Security Project

The Verona Board of Education approved the technology and security contract on September 23, 2014, with A+ Technology and Security. The design plan and selection of A+ Technology and Security was completed after extensive feedback from the technology and security committee over the past several months. Work on this project is currently underway with an anticipated completion of January 2015. The technology and security project will enable the Verona Public Schools to install new cat 6 cabling, new network switches, 107 wireless access points throughout our district schools, and 120 district-wide security cameras. A review of various solutions to upgrade the district phone system with a reliable, cost-effective solution to address district needs is currently in progress.

The next referendum update will be released in early January 2015. We will have a referendum presentation at the March 2015 Board of Education meeting to review the status of the projects.