Greater Egg Harbor Regional Board of Education is planning a March 11 bond referendum asking voters to approve borrowing almost $37 million for work at the district's three high schools.

State debt-service aid could cover more than half of eligible costs.

The largest and most expensive item would be the installation of air conditioning at Oakcrest High School, a plan defeated by voters in December 2011. That would cost about one-third of the total bond, school Business Administrator Charles Muller said.

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"It is really needed," he said. "It gets very difficult to learn in the classrooms there in May, June and September."

Other projects at Oakcrest would include renovating the athletic fields, improving access to athletic areas and upgrading the locker room, security systems, science labs and technology systems and equipment.

Projects at Absegami High School include renovating the locker rooms, updating security systems, renovating the athletic complex and fields, and updating science labs and technology systems and equipment.

Upgrades at Cedar Creek include increasing locker room capacity, renovating the athletic complex and fields, and installing an official school sign and stadium lighting, which were not included in the original $82 million school that opened in 2010. The athletic fields would be reconfigured to create more playing space and improve drainage.

Muller said the plans are still being reviewed by the state Department of Education and may be modified by the school board based on what the state approves and will help fund. State aid is generally limited to academic, health and safety issues, so some athletics-related items might not be eligible. He said the district will hold meetings to provide more detailed information once the plans are approved by the state. Information will also be posted on the district's website.

The bond referendum will be held from 2 to 9 p.m. at regular polling places in Hamilton Township, Galloway Township, Egg Harbor City and Mullica Township, which make up the regional district. Residents in the sending districts of Port Republic and Washington Township in Burlington County do not vote. The vote tally will be based on total votes from all four districts.

Contact Diane D'Amico:

609-272-7241

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