Christie Administration Visits Allendale School District to Highlight the Distribution of Grant Funding For School Improvements

For Immediate Release Contact: Michael Yaple
Rich Vespucci
Date: April 15, 2014 609-292-1126

Allendale, NJ – Officials from the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) and the New Jersey Schools Development Authority (SDA) visited the Allendale School District today to announce the start of execution of grants representing more than $500 million in grant funding for nearly 1,600 projects approved by the DOE. Grant execution signifies completion of the application process and the start of funding being issued to school districts through the SDA's Regular Operating District (ROD) grant program.

Jason Ballard, SDA Chief of Staff, left, and David Corso, NJDOE Assistant Commissioner for Administration and Finance, are among the state and education officials who toured classrooms and met with students at the Hillside Elementary School in Allendale following a news conference on April 15 to announce the roll-out of over $500 million in state grants for school construction.
Jason Ballard, SDA Chief of Staff, left, and David Corso, NJDOE Assistant Commissioner for Administration and Finance, are among the state and education officials who toured classrooms and met with students at the Hillside Elementary School in Allendale following a news conference on April 15 to announce the roll-out of over $500 million in state grants for school construction.
The SDA and DOE announced the execution of nearly $350,000 in grant funding in the Allendale School District alone for four school construction projects. The funding provided to the Allendale School District will be utilized to replace existing unit ventilators with new unit ventilators and provide air conditioning; install a new rooftop HVAC unit at the Brookside School; replace the existing unit ventilators with new HVAC units in classrooms 14-16 and the Media Center at Hillside Elementary School. The state is providing four grants totaling $348,597, representing its share of the overall estimated cost of $916,492. With the execution of the grants announced today, the Allendale School District has received $3.2 million in state funding for eight grants since the inception of the SDA's ROD grant program.

"The SDA and DOE are working together to execute approximately 1,600 grants, the largest single grant program allocation in New Jersey's history," said SDA CEO Charles B. McKenna. "This grant funding demonstrates the Christie Administration's commitment to supporting critical school improvement projects throughout the state."

"We are proud to work with the Schools Development Authority to provide grant funding to hundreds of school districts," said David Hespe, Acting Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education. "This is a great example of how the state and local school districts can work together to provide children with safe and modern learning environments."

The state-funded grants represent at least 40 percent of eligible costs for projects in the RODs and address health and safety issues and other critical needs. The grants are contingent on local approval of the remaining district share.

The DOE determines the selection of school projects to receive grant funds, which are administered by the SDA. The DOE approved 1,598 ROD Grant projects in 333 school districts throughout the state. Between state and local contributions, the total project costs of the 1,598 eligible projects are estimated to exceed $1.2 billion, representing a significant benefit to the economy as this important project work advances.

Following project approval by the DOE, the SDA offers a grant to the district. Upon proof of local share and completion of other required grant-related documents, the SDA is then able to execute a grant agreement and distribute funding throughout the life of the project as a district attains specific project milestones.
  
The state has provided $299 million in grant funding for 966 projects in local districts since May 2010, leveraging projects estimated at a total of nearly $701 million. The SDA's current portfolio of active grant projects represents more than $1.2 billion in total project costs.