Wantage schools cut costs, boost renovations

Recent renovations in Wantage schools have drawn attention for one major reason - no referendum money was used. Wantage schools now have all the amenities one would expect from a suburban New Jersey

News 12 Staff

Jul 14, 2008, 4:07 PM

Updated 5,854 days ago

Share:

Recent renovations in Wantage schools have drawn attention for one major reason - no referendum money was used.
Wantage schools now have all the amenities one would expect from a suburban New Jersey school district, including a summer reading program. But just a few years ago the Sussex Wantage Regional School District faced a crisis.
The schools were in disrepair and extensive renovations to the tune of $20 million were needed. The public soon rejected a referendum that would have allotted the money to the district.
Then something unusual happened. New school board members were elected and promised to make all the repairs within the district's budget. The board kept its promise, getting the renovations done without asking for additional help.
Now many are asking how they accomplished it.
First, the board set out to cut costs. They switched insurance brokers, which resulted in $300,000 worth of savings. Instead of replacing every window in the school, they decided to refinish them.
Wantage School Board members have now turned their attention to what they say is a disgrace - the new construction bill signed this week by Gov. Jon Corzine.
The bill is expected to result in about $4 billion worth of loans to build new schools, including $200 million for one school alone.
"That's very disturbing. More than disturbing, it's outright - it's a disgrace," says Board of Education member Art Jacobs.
Jacobs says that if his small school district could save $20 million, imagine what could be done in state-run districts.
"They build these Taj Mahals for the Abbott districts. There's no need for that," says Jacobs about the districts located in the state's most impoverished areas.
With the school repairs done, Sussex Wantage is now focused on its next project, a brand new board of education office. To complete that task, they bought a run-down building for $1. With the help of inmates on work release, they hope to complete the project for less than six figures.
Kane In Your Corner:Sussex Wantage Regional School District31 Ryan RoadWantage, NJ 07461973-875-2634


More from News 12
2:01
Police chief: Perth Amboy police officer shot in line of duty is in stable condition

Police chief: Perth Amboy police officer shot in line of duty is in stable condition

Cloudy and humid in New Jersey; better weather moving in for the weekend

Cloudy and humid in New Jersey; better weather moving in for the weekend

0:27
Rep. Bill Pascrell has 'setback' in recovery from respiratory illness

Rep. Bill Pascrell has 'setback' in recovery from respiratory illness

0:24
Authorities: Fairview man accused of trying to kill author Salman Rushdie faces terrorism charges

Authorities: Fairview man accused of trying to kill author Salman Rushdie faces terrorism charges

0:22
Biden agrees to assemble Presidential Emergency Board to help end NJ Transit labor dispute

Biden agrees to assemble Presidential Emergency Board to help end NJ Transit labor dispute

1:46
Lead chunks wash up along Keyport shore

Lead chunks wash up along Keyport shore

1:35
Manchester police release 911 calls made by woman who was shot by boyfriend

Manchester police release 911 calls made by woman who was shot by boyfriend

2:12
Gov. Murphy facing time crunch in decision for Menendez replacement

Gov. Murphy facing time crunch in decision for Menendez replacement

0:20
U.S. attorney: British citizen pleads guilty to child porn possession, intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct

U.S. attorney: British citizen pleads guilty to child porn possession, intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct

1:50
Lead pipe replacements for thousands finally begins in Paterson

Lead pipe replacements for thousands finally begins in Paterson

1:38
What are the dog days of summer?

What are the dog days of summer?

0:15
Officials: Hudson County man gets 45 years in prison for 2018 homicide

Officials: Hudson County man gets 45 years in prison for 2018 homicide

1:13
 Water main break halts Route 37 traffic in Toms River

Water main break halts Route 37 traffic in Toms River

1:39
Newark Liberty International Airport travelers still impacted by worldwide outage days later

Newark Liberty International Airport travelers still impacted by worldwide outage days later

0:34
Authorities identify driver killed in Route 3 truck crash and explosion in Clifton

Authorities identify driver killed in Route 3 truck crash and explosion in Clifton

0:56
Attorney General's Office: Driver was person who died in East Orange multivehicle crash

Attorney General's Office: Driver was person who died in East Orange multivehicle crash

2:06
Union City residents react to news Sen. Menendez is resigning

Union City residents react to news Sen. Menendez is resigning

0:18
NJ man faces up to 5 years in prison for stealing air conditioners from shopping center

NJ man faces up to 5 years in prison for stealing air conditioners from shopping center

1:26
Son finds his mom stabbed to death in their Edison home; suspect charged with murder

Son finds his mom stabbed to death in their Edison home; suspect charged with murder

0:31
Prosecutors: Palisades Park police officer arrested for assaulting woman multiple times, child endangerment

Prosecutors: Palisades Park police officer arrested for assaulting woman multiple times, child endangerment