Home » Hopewell Valley Prepares for $87.5 Million School Upgrade Vote

Hopewell Valley Prepares for $87.5 Million School Upgrade Vote

by Mary Galioto

At a public presentation on May 16, Hopewell Valley Regional School District (HVRSD) Superintendent Dr. Rosetta Treece detailed the reasons and impact of an upcoming bond referendum scheduled for a vote in September.

As MercerMe reported, the referendum seeks approval to borrow funds by selling bonds for school improvements at a projected cost of $87 to $87.5 million. Treece noted that state aid would cover about 25 percent of the total cost. The release of these funds would enable the District to access state aid and strategically plan repairs and upgrades.

Related MercerMe Reading:  HVRSD Insights: demystifying the proposed $87M referendum

What will it cost?

Hopewell Valley taxpayers can expect an average impact in the range of $500-$575 annually.

Reasons for the referendum

Access state aid

This process is the key that unlocks state aid to reduce the amount of debt repaid through local taxes.

More space

Enrollment has been on the rise with families moving in and new housing under construction. Increased demand for special and support services requires more rooms. The District is committed to maintaining small class sizes necessitating expanded instructional space.

“The District enjoyed shrinking enrollment,” said Treece. She explained that with this smaller student body, the District was able to offer full-day kindergarten, preschool programs at the elementary schools, and STEM labs while having reduced class size. “We don’t use the space the way we did in the past.”

Restore Buildings

Improvements will touch every school across the District. Treece outlined the myriad of repairs needed including reroofing all schools in the District, including the newest 25-year-old Stony Brook Elementary. At Bear Tavern Elementary, the roof disrepair has resulted in significant leaks in the media center. The other schools also need necessary repairs and upgrades. Click these links for HVRSD costs for improvements and expansion.

“These projects need to be done anyway and the opportunity to grab state aid for these projects is huge,” said Treece. “To avoid catastrophic failures, we need to make sure we get ahead of these things. This roof work is important in all our buildings.”

One much-discussed change is widening the driveway at Toll Gate Grammar. Treece spoke about parents’ concerns and assured them that any outdoor learning spaces that exist now will be relocated somewhere else in the back of the school. The road needs to be widened not just for parking but for emergency vehicle access.


Most Districts plan for a September vote, rather than at the general election, so they can quickly start the bidding process for contractors, explained Robert Colavita, Assistant School Business Administrator. 

Colavita also explained that work can begin as soon as spring or early summer on some of these projects if the referendum passes. Major additions to Bear Tavern and Toll Gate will not be until the summer of 2026.

What if the referendum does not pass?

“I’m going to have no choice but the cut programs,” said Treece. “This is why we’re coming to you. We don’t enjoy asking you to do this but this is the best fiscally responsible plan for the District to entertain.”

For more info:

The public can expect more community outreach at all of the school sites and some municipality meetings. 

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