TOMS RIVER — The answer is unofficially yes to allow the township Board of Education to use $147 million in funding to undertake various renovations, alterations, and improvements at several of the district's school buildings.

Tuesday's vote margin was 58 to 41 percent with a turnout of nearly 17 percent, according to results posted by the Ocean County Clerk's Office.

"I was very optimistic through this process and many folks were surprised

District Superintendent David Healy told New Jersey 101.5 he was optimistic  the referendum would pass and said it goes beyond the funding of needed repairs.

"This community comes out like no other for one another year after year with Hurricane Sandy. Toms River was the community that supported every other community with our facilities and our buses and with our staffing," Healy said.

The approval is also a  major step in regaining public trust following the conviction of former superintendent Michael Ritacco on 27 counts of fraud totaling $2.5 million in 2012.

"The board and the administration had to regain the public trust. And you can't just say 'trust me' and everyone's going to trust you.  You have to stay the course, it take a while and you have to earn your trust," Healy said.

Healy and members of the school board held a number of public meetings to show voters, many of whom do not have children in the district, the problems at the schools. New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier, a member of the Toms River East team that won the 1998 Little League World Series championship, was a part of the campaign, as was UFC fighter Frankie Edgar, also from Toms River.

"When you do the right things for the right reasons good things happen. And when you're surrounded by a team that philosophically is aligned with you in terms of putting kids first and always maintaining a child centered focus you can't go wrong,"  Healy said.

Almost a third of the funding, $47 million, will come from the state, with the remaining $100 million funded by the referendum, raising taxes for everyone within the sending district based on the assessed valuation of each town sending students to Toms River Schools.

The final eligible costs of the projects approved by the Commissioner of Education are $139,063,509:

  • $2,165,100 would be allocated to Beachwood Elementary School.
  • $4,096,045 would be allocated to Cedar Grove Elementary School.
  • $2,349,450 would be allocated to Joseph A. Citta Elementary School.
  • $3,675,625 would be allocated to East Dover Elementary School.
  • $4,649,950 would be allocated to Hooper Avenue Elementary School.
  • $4,298,373 would be allocated to North Dover Elementary School.
  • $4,521,000 would be allocated to Pine Beach Elementary School.
  • $6,658,275 would be allocated to Silver Bay Elementary School.
  • $3,451,225 would be allocated to South Toms River Elementary School.
  • $5,012,370 would be allocated to Walnut Street Elementary School.
  • $3,852,260 would be allocated to Washington Street Elementary School.
  • $3,572,040 would be allocated to West Dover Elementary School.
  • $13,451,900 would be allocated to Intermediate East School.
  • $11,376,200 would be allocated to Intermediate North School.
  • $6,367,650 would be allocated to Intermediate South School.
  • $14,206,663 would be allocated to High School East.
  • $32,385,080 would be allocated to High School North.
  • $12,974,303 would be allocated to High School South.
  • $0 would be allocated to the Administration Building.
  • $0 would be allocated to the John Bennett Athletic Center.
  • $0 would be allocated to the Vehicle Maintenance Compound.
  • $0 would be allocated to the District Maintenance Compound.
  • $0 would be allocated to the Central Registration Complex.

The proposed improvements include $8,084,760:

  • $476,000 would be allocated to High School East.
  • $350,000 would be allocated to High School North.
  • $700,000 would be allocated to High School South.
  • $1,281,850 would be allocated to the Administration Building.
  • $2,282,770 would be allocated to the John Bennett Athletic Center.
  • $876,500 would be allocated to the Vehicle Maintenance Compound.
  • $1,736,760 would be allocated to the District Maintenance Compound.
  • $380,880 would be allocated to the Central Registration Complex.

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