From the Echoes-Sentinal

The nearly $8 million Watchung Hills Regional High School (WHRHS) referendum passed by a considerable margin on Thursday, Oct. 6, according to results released by the district.

Combined mail-in and in-person totals from Watchung, and Warren and Long Hill townships, showed the referendum passing, 1,100 to 737.

Long Hill mail-in and in-person voting combined, saw the referendum pass by a 303 to 200 margin. In-person voting in Watchung saw the plan pass 80 to 56. Warren Township in-person totals were 155 to 111 in favor.

Additional mail-in ballots tabulated by the Somerset County Clerk’s Office had the referendum passing, 562 to 370.

The approved $7,951,710 bond proposal will have no financial impact on taxpayers.

Proposed capital projects include alterations to the STEAM and robotics lab, relocation and expansion of the nurse’s office, renovations to the ceramics and photography lab, improvements to locker room 5/6 and the trainer’s room, upgrades to the south cafeteria lounge, enhancements to the occupational and physical therapy rooms, replacements of chillers, and upgrades to the performing arts center LED lighting.

The state will reimburse the Watchung Hills district up to 40 percent of the project price tag. The remaining share would be funded by the district’s capital reserve.

About $3 million in state debt service aid would be given to the district, if the referendum is passed by voters.