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Referendum Proposes $14M Additions For Athletics, Performance Space

Ocean Township Schools will ask voters to approve a $28.9 million bond referendum, $15.4 million of which would add space for sports and the arts at the high school.

The high school would get a performing arts center addition, a one-story addition, classroom renovations, and auditorium renovations.

The addition would be designed with a 5,051 square foot auditorium and 2,427 square foot stage.

A corridor behind the stage would lead to storage and office space for performing arts programs such as band. These small rooms along the corridor surround a music room, at 1,209 square feet.

There would also be a 847 square-foot room for music technology, a 1,195 square foot dance studio, and a 50 by 50 foot black box theatre.

For the renovated auditorium, the site would have new house lighting and controls, new wall finishes for new acoustic panels, and new entry doors for the seating area, plus stage lighting, a refinished stage, expanded fly space and relocated ductwork for the performance area.

The second set of upgrades to the high school focuses on athletics and fitness programs.

A 3,253-square foot fitness center would be built, facing the football field, as a second-story addition to the space. The designs as currently imagined show the fitness center with equipment such as exercise bikes and weight machines, with large windows.

Site work would include an entrance plaza for the gym addition, now envisioned as a glass facade, as a lobby space for the building.

Superintendent James Stefankiewicz said the high school project, and the other portions of the $28.9 million referendum, will help bring the district facilities within reach of other districts that have had similar facilities for years.

"We are the only district in the Shore Conference with one gym," he said. Regarding a black box theater at the high school, "these are staples in newly constructed high schools for the last 5 to 10 years now."

Each of the district schools have projects funded in the referendum's bonding, but at more than $15 million, the high school makes up the largest portion.

Besides the fitness and art addition, the high school would also get an upgraded HVAC, should the referendum pass. HVAC renovations are part of many of the schools' plans under the proposal.

The high school, which was built in 1964 at 200,215 square feet, sits on 54.78 acres with the Ocean Township Elementary School. In 1985 a weight room and wrestling room were added, and the 1995 referendum built the E-wing and current library.

Voters will decide the bond referendum on December 9, as polls open in regular voting locations from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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