Statement on Bancroft Purchase from the Haddonfield BOE

The board met for a reorganization meeting Thursday.

A statement on the Bancroft public purchase from the Haddonfield Board of Education:

To the voters in the Haddonfield School District:

For too many years now, the future of the Bancroft School site, immediately adjacent to the Haddonfield High School, has hung in the balance as one proposal after another has been cast aside by community opinion, zoning regulations or redevelopment policies.

The Board of Education proposes to seize the opportunity of acquiring this historic and prominent “gateway into Haddonfield” for use by the community at large, for educational and recreational purposes, to allow for possible future school expansion and development of a high school campus, and to secure an open space legacy for our children.

Now is the time to act, when the Board of Education’s proposal is before the redevelopment agency, when it has been endorsed by the borough council, when open space funds and county grants may be available to reduce cost, and while financing rates are at historic lows to reduce borrowing cost.

The school district and our community are at a crossroads. Now is the time to decide before this opportunity is lost, before a “higher-density” proposal is submitted by the Bancroft School.

The Board of Education has completed due diligence on the site, negotiated a beneficial agreement of sale, sought out grants, drawn conceptual plans for initial phases of site improvements, and generally encouraged public discourse.

The purpose of a referendum is to allow the voters to make the final decision. On Jan. 22, 2013, the decision will rest in your hands. The BOE will not pursue a second referendum. We will have heard you one way or another. Your immediate responsibility is too become fully informed on this proposal and we hope this Q&A document will support that learning process. This is an unprecedented opportunity, and we ask for your attentive consideration of our proposal.

Maryann Campling January 05, 2013 at 02:19 PM
We currently carry over 40 M in debt between the Boro/BOE, the 12+ inflated purchase price is the tip of the iceberg, there is a 28M wish list pending for development of the property. The vagueness of the BOE's development plans are disturbing and should concern everyone...buy it now and worry about those details later? Come on folks, we're smarter than that. If you really love this town and are truly concerned about ALL of our residents, don't buy into the propaganda....learn the facts and vote on January 22.
Jeremiah Wright January 05, 2013 at 07:09 PM
Tell you what - let's make a deal. If the lavishly renumerated teachers - (sorry - "educators") - and bloated administrative staffs, together with their gold plated bennies, multi-decade retirement packages, $2 co-pays, off-every-other-week for holidays/breaks/conferences, give back money to the taxpayers equivalent to the money necessary to finance this white elephant, then yes - go for it. This of course will never happen. So, no - forget this whole deal. Vote it down people. Vote. It. Down.
Joe Taxpayer January 05, 2013 at 07:44 PM
@Jeff H wrong for supporting what Brian wrote "Bancroft has stated numerous times they intend to develop the land. When I go on their website and see they treat the neurological disabilities our soldiers have sustained in both wars, along with children of autism and people from all walks of life suffering neurological disabilities, I can't help help but think that's a better use of the land than a sports campus. " I would agree it is a better use. Are you against that too????????? I keep saying - Fine don't pay more. Will you stand with me to not raise taxes to increase pensions and healthcare expenses too in a few months??? I am voting YES to capital improvements and NO to payroll increases!! Let me too when you want to take on Camden county and the 26% in taxes we pay them. I am all IN with you and the other anti tax folks for this since its all payroll related too!
Maryann Campling January 06, 2013 at 08:36 PM
I understand that the BOE sent a flyer home with every school child this week, promoting the benefits of the purchase of Bancroft. They must have the legal right to do so, as the Boro/BOE/Bancroft are lousy with lawyers, but is this type of electioneering ethical, or moral?....two traits that seem to get overlooked when a particular agenda is being pushed. And do I understand correctly that Bancroft helped fund their efforts...again, is this legal?
angela melzi January 07, 2013 at 01:42 AM
$28mil+ capital improvement proposal was presented to the BOE by Garrison Architechts, architechts for the Bancroft property, on June 6, 2012. This proposal is for improvements, repair, rennovation and structural necessities for the 5 existing school buildings. This $28mil+ has nothing to do with the Bancroft $12mil+ bond referendum vote which is scheduled for this Jan. 22. This $28mil+ is additional money that the hired BOE architect states is needed for repairs, structural necessities, etc now and within the next few years. In this $28mil+ proposal the architecht suggested the BOE apply for State money and present a bond referendubm for voter approval. This proposal has not been made public by the BOE. I obtained a bound copy and I have presented it twice at BOE mtgs, 12/13/12 and 11/27/12. Question: where is this money going to come from - taxpayer paid school budgets or another bond. Before we, as taxpayers, vote on this Jan. 22 bond, we should perhaps consider the building necessities listed in this June 6 proposal and ask if there is anything else we should know. Let us remember that from 1988 -2004, the voters of Haddonfiled provided the BOE with $44mil+ in bond money for additions, improvements, repairs, etc., in reply to BOE futuristic visionary requests ($18mil+, '99, $14mil+ '04).


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