Polls open in Princeton from 1:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. for special $17.5 million school bond referendum

Voters in Princeton are being asked today to approve a $17.5 million bond referendum to replace roofs at the district’s six schools in a special election that will be held at the district’s elementary schools today.

The owner of a property assessed at the town’s average of $830,000 would pay an estimated $162 in 2023, $262 in 2024, and $65 per year for the next 18 years if voters approve the referendum. The state will fund up to 34% of the principal and interest for the bonds. That funding is already figured into the amount taxpayers would pay if the referendum is passed.

The roofs would be replaced over four years if the referendum passes. The district conducted an audit of the roofs in 2019 and determined they are in urgent need of replacement. District officials have determined it is not possible to fund roof repairs using roof warranties because the proposed work is on roofs that, due to their age, are either no longer covered by warranties or are near their end-of-life, with warranties potentially reimbursing for pennies-on-the-dollar, if at all.

Roofs were not a priority in the 2018 referendum, which funded the replacement of HVAC systems to address mold issues in the schools. Officials said for the last referendum, it was determined that the roofs were something the district could wait on.

Voters in Princeton approved the $27 million bond referendum for HVAC systems and other improvements in a special election just three years ago in December of 2018. When asked by a reporter whether bond referendums will regularly be put before the voters every few years rather than putting larger referendums before the voters every decade or more, school officials said that “maintenance” referendums likely will be more frequent to address a rolling list of maintenance needs. Officials said the HVAC system for the district will need replacing in six to 10 years, for example.

Other non-maintenance referendums could also be put before the voters to address the increasing student population and the need for more facilities or for modernizing facilities.

Voting on the referendum will take place at the district’s four elementary schools from 1:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Voters also were able to vote by mail. Schools are being dismissed early for the election.

Polling Location #1
Community Park School, 372 Witherspoon Street Districts 5, 9, 10 11, 21 and 22

Polling Location #2
Riverside School, 58 Riverside Drive West Districts 7, 8, 12, 17, 18 and 19

Polling Location #3 
Johnson Park School, 285 Rosedale Road Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6

Polling Location #4 
Littlebrook School, 39 Magnolia Lane Districts 13, 14, 15, 16 and 20


  1. For all the conversation about the Voting Rights Bill, today’s experience voting in the school bond election was jarring and depressing. Here are some things I observed:

    1. There were no signs at the building to indicate which districts were voting there. You only found out after waiting in the line.
    2. There was a single Yes/No question on the ballot, yet the ballot designers put the two options very close to each other. It was very easy to choose the wrong option. The person after me did this and neither she, nor the poll worker, could figure out how to change the ballot. In the end, she voted opposite to how she wanted. Why weren’t the choices on the screen farther apart?
    3. Even though there was a long line, there were multiple times when there were no poll workers at the ballot box and no one was able to vote. If this were Georgia, people would be saying that the system was intentionally trying to keep people from voting by making it take a long time.
    4. A person in front of me was unable to vote as there was something wrong with their ballot. He ended up walking out without casting the ballot.

    We have a duty to make voting a simple process. I hope we’ll do better in the future.

    1. I requested to vote by mail. I received the instructions, and the ballot. You do not have to vote at local sites, if anything confuses you or other voters. I placed mine in the box at the municipal building weeks ago.

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