Business approach nets income for Toms River schools

Administrators of the Toms River Regional School District have turned to some creative ways in an effort to ease budget concerns and keep taxes stable.

Rather than continue to pay rent for school offices, the district purchased a Hooper Avenue building they had been using for $6 million. Toms River Regional used to pay $500,000 per year in rent to use the building. The district has started renting open space at the building and bringing money in each month since the acquisition.

A café at the building is also pulling in revenue for the district. Income from the café has provided the necessary funds for the district to buy four school buses, according to administrators.

The district is also proud of a project to utilize solar energy, which it reports has brought in $1 million. Additionally, the district?s intermediate school gymnasium is being leased out for various events.

?It?s more of a business approach to education, and it?s worked quite well for Toms River,? says Michael Ritacco, superintendent of schools.

Administrators say that since Toms River Regional serves four communities, tax adjustments will vary. They say while some homeowners are expected to receive a smaller tax bill, others will see modest changes or no adjustments at all.

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