SOUTH JERSEY (KYW Newsradio) — Voters in Cherry Hill, N.J., overwhelmingly approved the largest school bond referendum in state history last night. The $364 million approval means an increase in taxes for homeowners and improvements to all of the district’s schools.
All 19 schools in Cherry Hill are at least 50 years old, and all of them need significant improvements, according to Superintendent Dr. Joseph Meloche. Work is expected to begin in the summer on critical repairs on hvac systems and leaky roofs, and accessibility enhancements for people with disabilities.
The vote was 69% yes, 31% no. Meloche says he didn’t expect such an overwhelming show of support.
“Honestly, I’m overjoyed by the support that the community demonstrated for the school district, for the students.”
With that comes money from the state and federal governments. But Cherry Hill taxpayers will be on the hook for more than $200 million of it, which is about $400 a year in new taxes. Meloche lives in town and says he knows how high taxes are already — “and what I say is the quality of education and what we provide for the children, we believe, is worth what we’re asking people to contribute.”
He says the cash output now will have a multigenerational benefit.
Cherry Hill is among several townships that approved bond measures with votes on Thursday. Voters in the Greater Egg Harbor Regional School District approved a bond of nearly $20 million.