WOOLWICH TWP. – On March 8, voters in Swedesboro, South Harrison, East Greenwich, and
Woolwich soundly defeated a $12 million bond referendum for the Kingsway Regional School District for proposed athletic complex improvements.
The referendum had two different questions. The first question was defeated 908 Yes to 2,640 No. This question covered improvements to the track, conversion of fields to artificial turf, improvements to the football stadium, and a bus maintenance building.
The second question was denied by a vote of 873 Yes to 2,658 No. That question covered expanding the existing field house, and building a new field/band house.
Breakdown of the voting per municipalities was as follows:
Yes: 346; No: 1,342
Yes: 339; No: 1,343
20% Yes – 80% No
Yes: 81; No: 308
Yes: 77; No: 308
20% Yes – 80% No
Yes: 63; No: 137
Yes: 64; No: 134
32% Yes – 68% No
Yes: 418; No: 853
Yes: 393; No: 873
Avg. 32% Yes – 68% No
After the election, an emailed press release was sent out by Kingsway Regional School District Superintendent Dr. James J. Lavender, thanking supporters and volunteers of the district’s “Get out the Vote” campaign, despite the outcome.
“Every student deserves the best environment possible in which to learn and in which to participate in before- and after-school activities. This referendum would have affected every student in our four constituent towns,” said Lavender, “and ensured we had the resources necessary to drive Kingsway to becoming the Premier School System in this region. We have heard the community’s voice, however, and will determine the best course of action moving forward.”
“Our athletic facilities are not only subpar, they were deemed unsafe for competition; our track was built in 1964, and has not been resurfaced since 1992,” said James Mueller, Kingsway Board of Education President, in the press release. “Passing this referendum would have been the best way to eliminate safety hazards that our students are facing right now, but we will listen to the community and find another way.”
Lavender did not respond to questions about any future plans for track improvements and other athletic complex plans.