Middletown Superintendent of Schools Richard Del Moro
Click here to read the December 4 referendum booklet that has been mailed to residents inside of their district newspaper.
Click here to read the legal notice regarding this referendum that appeared in the Times Herald-Record newspaper on Oct. 20, Oct. 27, Nov. 10, Nov. 17
On Tuesday, December 4, 2018 the Middletown City School District residents will vote on a referendum to address major roofing issues at Maple Hill Elementary School and Monhagen Middle School, much needed restoration masonry repairs at Twin Towers Middle School as well as additions and alterations at Middletown High School due to the increased enrollment over the last five years. In addition, the enrollment projections, at the high school, indicate enrollment will continue to increase for the next several years.
As a result of these needed capital improvements, the Middletown Board of Education passed a resolution on October 18, 2018, specifying the need for these improvements which will total an estimated $34,800,000. All projects will be completed with NO INCREASE to the SCHOOL TAX LEVY.
“There will be no increase to the tax levy - to your school taxes - as a result of these much needed improvements”, Middletown Superintendent of Schools Richard Del Moro emphasized at the October 18, 2018 school board meeting. Mr. Del Moro encouraged all residents to come out to vote on December 4, 2018 for these needed capital improvements:
New Library Media Center and Cafeteria
Twin Towers Middle School
Twin Towers Middle School
Roofing and Flashing Repairs
Monhagen Middle School
Monhagen Middle School Garage
Maple Hill Elementary School
NO INCREASE to the SCHOOL TAX LEVY
Mr. Del Moro detailed the current state of the roofs at both Maple Hill Elementary School and Monhagen Middle School. Both roofs require an extensive overhaul to the roof exteriors. In addition, stronger support structures will replace existing supports and proper insulation will be installed to ensure appropriate and efficient heating and cooling throughout the building. These critical roof repairs will also prevent leaks inside the building during heavy rain and will prevent the need for an alternate exit from buildings when thawing snow creates ice patches on the sidewalks.
The referendum allocates $3,150,000 for Twin Towers Middle School masonry restoration, and $670,000 for roofing repairs. Mr. Del Moro stated these repairs are due in part to the age of this beautiful school building which first opened its doors to students in the Middletown community in the fall of 1940. He said, “We need to prevent further damage to the exterior of the building in order to prevent moisture from leaking into the building through the existing stone work on the facade of the building”.
The Middletown High School portion of the referendum is due, primarily, to increasing enrollment. Mr. Del Moro said there are currently 2,200 scholars at the High School and enrollment projections target 2,500 scholars in the next three to five years. As a result of this substantial increase in enrollment, inadequate cafeteria space is a major problem the High School staff manages on a daily basis. Currently, at the High School, there are five lunch periods. The first lunch period begins at 9:52 am, and the last lunch period ends at 1:33 pm. This early start time and late end time prevent the High School staff from adding additional lunch periods to the master schedule. With only five lunch periods, scholars frequently spend too much time waiting for lunch service due to the volume of scholars needing to be served in any given lunch period. The current cafeteria is filled to capacity with no opportunity to further expand the floorplan. Serving scholars within a three-hour timeframe with only one cafeteria, crowded seating, and long service lines creates less than desirable conditions.
The proposed referendum project at the High School would re-purpose the current library media center turning it into an auxiliary cafeteria, with seating for approximately 300 scholars each lunch period. The design of the new space would also include flexible workspaces along the perimeter of the room aimed at fostering innovative thinking and collaboration for scholars. This auxiliary cafeteria will provide much needed relief to appropriately and safely accommodate the scholars while they eat lunch. The College and Career Center will remain on the first floor of the existing space but will be relocated to a more prominent location making this valuable resource more accessible to students and families.
In creating this new auxiliary cafeteria, a new Library Media Center will need to be constructed in the area to the left of the first floor of the existing building, along the hill leading toward the stadium. This new technology rich facility will also house a state of the art TV Production Center to accommodate co-curricular activities across a wide variety of content areas.
Mr. Del Moro explained although connected to the existing High School building, this new Library Media Center will have secure accessibility making it an ideal space for after school/evening and Saturday events for students, staff and the community. “We envision programs on Saturday mornings, opening our doors to the community to support their interests. We are planning for guest speakers on relevant topics, reading hours for families, and comfortable spaces for scholars to dive into their academic work or explore a topic of interest after the conclusion of the traditional school day”.
The $34,880,000 will come at NO INCREASE to the SCHOOL TAX LEVY. The District will use a portion of the unappropriated fund balance of $5,680,000 for these projects. Additionally, $10 million will be taken from the Capital Reserve Fund, the creation of this fund was approved by voters in May of 2017. Further, in May 2017, $2.2 million was allocated for library media center renovations as a part of the 2018-2019 budget. Those funds will be used to support the projects. In total, the funds outlined above, totaling $17,680,000, will be appropriated to cover a portion of the project costs. An additional $17 million is needed to cover the remaining project costs. The district will issue bonds and borrow and pay off this balance with the State Aid they will receive as a result of this capital project. Our schools are the pillars of our community. They are the source of pride and excitement for families with and without school-age children. They add to property value and make Middletown a desirable place to relocate. Moreover, our schools continually work to develop the future leaders of our community.
IMPORTANT VOTING NOTE - CHANGE OF LOCATION (Twin Towers Voters only)
In order to create a more accessible voting location for residents, who have in the past, voted at Twin Towers Middle School for the School District Budgets, School Board elections and school district referendums, voting was moved to the High School. More convenient parking and ease of accessability of the site make this a more desirable voting location for our school community.
If you are unsure of your voting location, please call our District Clerk, Taryn Clark, at (845) 326-1196.