New Referendum Raises Questions For Acting Superintendent


by Nicholas Holt

The latest referendum is about improving infrastructure, not a new school.

Nick Holt, Staff Writer

On Dec. 10, the Hillsborough Board of Education will be holding a vote on a new referendum, dubbed the “Repair, Replace, Revive” referendum. It will decide whether or not the school district can approve the funding of much needed capital projects across the nine school buildings in the total amount of $35,416,740. 

Fortunately, I got a chance to ask Dr. Lisa Antunes, the Acting Superintendent of Schools, a series of questions about the referendum, and she was able to supply me with some quality, in-depth answers.

When asked what projects that are listed on the website for the high school have the most impact on the students and the day to day life at school, Dr. Antunes said:

“Many of the projects slated to be completed at the high school are not really ‘pretty,’ but they are essential,”Antunes said.” Additionally, all of the projects will ultimately update the learning and working environment for students and staff members each day.”

Dr. Antunes emphasized the importance of 18 year-old students voting, saying it gives the students a voice and opinion in the town.

“Voting provides a voice to personal ideals and is truly a right of passage,” Dr. Antunes said.  “All high school students ought to become informed about the issues/concerns surrounding this and any other voting opportunities.  Ultimately, I would encourage ANYONE who is eligible to vote, to do so proudly, no matter the issue(s) being presented.”  

The time table on the potential referendum, would be for work to be completed over the next two upcoming summers.

“Should the referendum pass, the work will take place in the summers of 2020 and 2021,” Dr. Antunes said.

Antunes also stated that the new referendum is different than the last referendum that failed this past March.

“This referendum is very different than the previous,” Dr. Antunes said. “This referendum is all about security, indoor air quality, fire and alarm systems, HVACs, roofs, sidewalks, and similar items.  Essentially, it is a referendum based upon infrastructure, not full day kindergarten and not a new high school.”

According to Dr. Antunes, the referendum would improve the lives of both the students and the staff, creating an overall better experience for everyone.

“This referendum will ultimately ‘repair, replace, and revive’ the learning and teaching environments for students, as well as staff members,” she said. “Just as students are better able to learn in a temperature controlled and comfortable environment, so too, are staff members better able to work in a  temperature controlled and comfortable environment.”

While Dr. Antunes said she was unable to ascertain exactly how many people have clicked on the Referendum’s FAQs on the district website, many township residents have stated that it is a great source of information.  If you have further questions about the referendum, take a look there and if your questions aren’t answered, you can always email the BOE or use the Google Form that is on the website for that purpose.