Election Tuesday: Collingswood, Pennsauken to Vote on School Bond Projects

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Voters in Collingswood will decide on a $13.7-million athletic facilities referendum, while the Pennsauken electorate considers a $35.6-million infrastructure bond that touches all 11 schools in its district.

By Matt Skoufalos | March 12, 2018

Collingswood BOE President Jim Hatzell presents the plans for the district athletic facilities referendum. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.

Collingswood and Pennsauken voters will head to the polls Tuesday for a pair of special elections that will decide whether to bond some $50 million in total for school infrastructure projects.

In Collingswood, the district is seeking approval for its “outdoor enrichment” proposal.

The plan would renovate a deteriorating high-school football stadium and track, adding a second, multi-sport field, classroom space for adult special-needs students, and new elementary school playground surfaces.

A yes vote would bond $13.044 million of the $13.7-million project, according to Collingswood Superintendent of Schools Scott Oswald, resulting in an estimated $194 annual tax increase for a home assessed at the median value of $229,150 for the next 20 years (click here for the Collingswood Schools-provided tax impact calculator).

The Pennsauken Schools project would address facilities issues at all 11 schools in the district, drastically overhauling its student allocation, boosting vocational offerings, and creating a magnet high school.

Pennsauken Curriculum Supervisor Tarah Gillespie (left) and Superintendent Ronnie Tarchichi. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.

Among the changes:

  • creating a full-day, pre-K early childhood center at the Baldwin Elementary school
  • transforming Roosevelt Elementary School into a magnet high school
  • demolishing Longfellow Elementary School and replacing it with a neighborhood playground dubbed “Red Barn Park”
  • adding a field house to the high school campus named for former Pennsauken mayor and schoolteacher Rick Taylor

Pennsauken Superintendent of Schools Ronnie Tarchichi said the proposal will actually lower taxes, since the cost of the new project will be less than district debt service slated to be retired next year.

According to his tax impact calculator, a home assessed at the township median ($140,017) would see an $11 tax decrease if the measure passes.

Voter Information

Scroll down for links to your local sample ballot and a list of polling places, which are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Local Polling Place Finder

Sample Ballot Questions (Click to Open)

Related Coverage

School District Referendum Information Pages

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