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Here's What $25M Bond Referendum Will Fund In Fair Lawn Schools

Fair Lawn Schools Sup't Dr. Ernest Palestis.
Fair Lawn Schools Sup't Dr. Ernest Palestis. Photo Credit: COURTESY:

Voters approved the Fair Lawn School District Bond Referendum in a special election held on Tuesday, March 13 by a vote of 2,241 to 1,458.

The $25 million bond referendum will fund a plan to build new classrooms and expand other facilities to solve the space demands of the local population growth.

The district qualifies for $3.8 million in state aid, reducing the out-of-pocket expense for taxpayers to $21.2 million.

The Board of Education worked closely with contractors and architects to carefully assess the bond referendum plan for the district, according to Superintendent Ernest Palestis said.

“Administrators and the school board worked with multiple consultants to develop a plan that was educationally sound and financially responsible," he said.

"The bond referendum will add physical space, but also allow us to improve the educational opportunities for Fair Lawn students."

The plan will shift fifth grade from elementary schools to middle schools, and it will modernize HVAC systems and kitchen facilities.

The referendum comes in response to an enrollment boom of 500 students in five years, with projections pointing to another 500 in the next five years.

Fair Lawn has contended with the population boom by stretching the limits on quality class sizes and by using a “soft borders” policy that requires new students to attend elementary schools other than the ones to which they are formally assigned.

This approved, permanent solution will correct these measures and keep up with demand, according to Palestis.

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