One Rutherford Referendum Passed
By Jennifer Ersalesi
On September 24th, the Rutherford School District proudly announced that the school referendum, entitled One Rutherford, was successfully achieved in the special school election. The unofficial tallies were 1536 votes in favor and 899 opposed for the $45.3 million borrowing plan. Dennis Mazone, Board of Education member, explained, “I thank everyone for their tremendous effort. This proves what a special place Rutherford is for all of us.”
In 2018, the referendum that had been presented did not successfully past in the special school election. After listening to the various concerns and needs of the citizens of Rutherford, a new proposal was created, the One Rutherford plan. According to the One Rutherford website, “Voters passed the bond referendum that will expand and improve Rutherford schools to meet the needs of rising enrollment, current educational standards and aging facilities.”
The new proposal includes renovations and construction at most of the schools in the district. Rutherford High School will be able to renovate the existing science labs, which have not been updated since the 1970’s and repair and renovate the Mortimer wing of the building.
At Union School, a new gym will be created and the existing gym will be converted into three learning labs. The flooring inside the school and the columns on the exterior will be replaced. Pierrepont School will get a new full-sized gym and the old gym will be replaced with a two-story eleven classroom wing. At Lincoln School, two new classrooms will be added. Three of the Kindergarten Center classrooms will be updated with in class restrooms. A restroom will be added to the nurse’s office, air-conditioning will be added to the multi-purpose room and an elevator will be added for greater accessibility.
See below for photos of one of Union School's deteriorating columns, the Kindergarten Center Nurse's office, the multi-purpose room at Pierrepont School, and one of the current Science labs at Rutherford High School.
While presenting the outcome of the 2019 vote, Mr. Jack Hurley, Superintendent of Schools, thanked the Board of Education for their tireless efforts and all who assisted in the committees and community efforts that raised awareness regarding the improvements laid out in the One Rutherford plan. Hurley told the school employees and committee members gathered, “I thank Joe Kelly on his work on this plan and his focus on the details. I also want to thank the entire community for listening and coming together. We compromised and worked together to move forward.”