Upgrades are proposed for both the Viola L. Sickles and Knollwood schools. At Knollwood, a fourth through eighth-grade school, three classrooms would be added for “flexible classroom space,” which could be used for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) programs. There would also be funding for middle school course pathways and small- group instruction, electrical upgrades, new boilers, masonry repairs and air conditioning in the gymnasium. There are currently five sections of kindergarten in Fair Haven. If the referendum is approved, full-day kindergarten could be implemented by fall 2020. Administrators estimate that the expansion will cost about $250,000 annually which can be absorbed into the operating budget, according to the district. At Sickles, a pre-K through third-grade school, there would be a secure entrance vestibule to improve safety; a multipurpose space for school use and recreational space; a world language classroom; upgraded electrical services; new boilers; masonry repairs; added parking areas on Willow Street; and a two-story addition with an elevator, allowing the district to implement full-day kindergarten. Lorie Gaines, a Fair Haven resident and a parent who advocated for full-day kindergarten years ago, said “it’s about time” the district gets the program. “I’d be very excited,” said the special education attorney. “I’m always looking to make sure we maximize our kids’ educational time.” “I felt it was my job tomake sure I exhausted anyother options I could beforeasking the community for areferendum,” said McNeil. Unfortunately, she said, the full-day expansion will not benefit her children because they have all passed kindergarten. FAIR HAVEN – Borough voters will be asked to weigh in on a $15.6 million bond referendum Tuesday, Sept. 24 that, if approved, will fund a full-day kindergarten program and other facility upgrades. The move to full-time kindergarten has been made by other schools in the Two River area. In Holmdel, Village Elementary School began this school year Sept. 4 with full-day kindergarten. According to the district, research showed children in full-day kindergarten had better academic outcomes and more self-confidence the following school year. The Fair Haven School District held two information sessions about the project last spring. McNeil said they were “fairly well attended” and feedback has been positive, adding that the work is “long overdue.” The next public information session will be held Monday, Sept. 16, at 7 p.m. at Sickles School. By Allison Perrine A secure entranceway is not planned for Knollwood in this referendum because new safety measures were recently completed over the summer at the school. A security vestibule is planned for the near future, according to the district, and will be funded by the operating budget, not through the referendum. The district estimates that based on the average valuation of a home in Fair Haven of $808,044, the average homeowner could be expected to pay an additional $429 per year in school taxes, or $35.75 per month, if the referendum is approved. It also said the 20-year bond would have a 3.4 percent interest rate. Gaines also said McNeil is “fantastic,” and has made “so many great improvements” since he joined the district. “If he can get this passed, kudos to him.” The district has not been able to implement full-day kindergarten for years, superintendent Sean McNeil said, adding that the conversation started before he came to the district four years ago. Current facilities do not have the space to offer it, he said, and historically the operating budget could not support it. Now, the district has the money to fund it but does not have the funds to build it. A one-time polling change will take place when voters head to the polls Tuesday, Sept. 24. The Church of the Nativity will not be used. Voting will be held from 2 to 8 p.m. that day at the Knollwood School only, at 224 Hance Road. School will end early that day.