Wall Township Public Schools face the same needs for periodic updates as a home. Furnaces become inefficient and fail; so do boilers. Bathrooms suffer wear and tear; school restrooms do, too. Asphalt driveways show age; the running track also develops cracks and pits.

    Throughout the district, many of the systems that protect our buildings and people are past or near the end of what is considered an expected lifespan. Roofs that were replaced from 1999 to 2002 are past warranty protection. Many of the HVAC systems for heating, cooling, and ventilation, as well as systems for electrical and mechanical functions, were also built at that time, and by today’s standards are inefficient and present risks of emergent repair and replacement.

Projects Budget

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Projects by School

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  • A homeowner might wait until the breaking point, whereas a school district has several advantages in acting sooner. 

    • Get state aid for about one third of the costs for a bond-funded replacement, versus paying 100% for an emergency purchase with regular operating funds.

    • Avoid the hassles and costs of emergency repairs, which can include school closures and rented heating/cooling equipment.

    The district's schools are, in general, quite old. They were built before current safety measures were embedded in federal, state, and municipal codes. In some schools, the fire alarm systems do not meet current standards because they should be accompanied by strobe lights and a speaking voice.

    Some areas are functional to a point, but do not reflect the pride that Wall residents have for their town and school:

    • The auditorium at Wall High School dates to the building’s origin in 1959. A complete renovation would update the flooring and ceiling, redesign seating to comply with ADA, and install upgraded lighting and sound systems.

    • Restrooms in many schools have seen only minor updates since construction. Modernizing them would meet ADA guidelines and add efficiency measures such as touchless faucets and motion-sensor lighting.

    • Gym lockers in Wall Intermediate School are original to the building’s construction in 1967. These rooms are the same as when many of our parents, and even grandparents, used them.

    • Athletic facilities at Wall High School were designed for a much smaller number of sports than today’s Crimson Knights play. The second question on the ballot is focused on that fact by proposing that existing grass fields be re-graded, an artificial turf field be added, the track be replaced, and our stadium surrounded by new lights and fencing.

    Question 1: Renovate & Replace for Building Functionality

    The bond referendum’s primary question focuses on repairing, renovating, and replacing parts of our schools that pertain specifically to building operations. These $53 million in improvements would extend the usefulness of buildings that were designed for other eras; state aid would reduce the local share of costs by $20 million.

    • Original boilers have efficiency ratings in the range of 60 to 70 percent. New units score close to 100% and that can make a big budget difference in the operating costs of our schools.

    • Older instructional spaces were not designed with computers in mind. Modern classrooms have a much stronger need for the space and electrical requirements of technology-based learning. 

    • Building codes and construction methods have evolved. Aside from any legal requirement to conform, there are practical reasons to do so. Accommodating people with disabilities is one; upgrading to current insulation and fire alarm systems is another.

    In addition to those kinds of broad upgrades, Question 1 proposes improvements to several specific areas. Restrooms at the Primary School and West Belmar Elementary would be modernized in ways that include ADA accessibility. At Wall Intermediate School, classrooms 101-110, the art Room, and the Technology Lab would be renovated with new ceilings, lighting and plumbing fixtures, flooring, and cabinetry. The boys' and girls' locker rooms, showers, and physical education offices would be renovated to compensate for the age of those highly used areas. Wall High School's Graphic & Digital Arts and Engineering & Architecture classrooms would be overhauled to better meet today’s educational needs.

    Question 2: Make Additional Improvements to Schools and Facilities

    The bond referendum's second question includes additional work on school buildings, as well as at the high school’s athletic facilities. While Question 1 projects could be done with no increase to the tax rate, Question 2 projects would result in an increase of about $5 per month for a home assessed at Wall’s average.

    Building improvements to be proposed in Question 2 include HVAC, electrical, and site upgrades at Allenwood, Old Mill, and West Belmar elementary schools; window replacements at Wall Intermediate School; and art room renovations at Wall High School. The HVAC upgrades would add air conditioning to the gyms at Old Mill and West Belmar.

    The remainder of Question 2 projects focus on athletic facilities at Wall High School, which are used eventually by every student in the district. Our physical education classes use them every school day; student-athletes use them after school most days; and community members participate in events there many days. The stadium, track, and fields are key resources for WTPS.

    Proposed projects would expand the usefulness of our stadium and surrounding track and fields.

    • A rebuilt oval track would encircle a synthetic turf field. While football teams use that for practice now, other sports teams could use it because multiple line markings will expand its use. The varsity stadium would keep its natural grass surface. 

    • At other fields, regrading the soil would make more playable surfaces and assist with drainage.

    • Restoring the running track would open the possibility for meets there. Wall has not been able to host competitions in more than 10 years because of the track’s poor condition.

    • New LED lights at the stadium would extend the available playing times of the field where multiple sports teams could play.

    Unlike the building improvements of Question 1, no state aid is available for the athletic facilities. The WTPS Board of Education included those projects in a separate Question 2 for the community’s consideration on the ballot on Tuesday, Dec. 13. However, the vote results of Question 2 will not matter if Question 1 does not pass. Voter approval of Question 1 is required for Question 2 to be viable.