Makes No Sense

Sep 25, 2019

To the Editor:

The latest action on Sept. 17 by the LBI Board of Education makes no sense to me. Why close the EJ School? If EJ is closed it could revert to Surf City for a purchase of about $250,000. My figure is based on an original price of $35,000 (1964) plus a rate increase of 4 percent per year. If you do the math you should get the same figure. My fear is that if EJ closes, a local builder could purchase the land to build houses on the property.

It is my understanding that the school board owns the LBI Grade School building and property. Perhaps the board should consider a long-term lease/purchase agreement with the town of Ship Bottom. Change the referendum to spend at least $7.6 million on the EJ School and lease the LBI School. Perhaps some of the lease/rental money could be used to offset the repair costs for the EJ School.

The EJ School is a younger school and does not face the flood or structural issues faced by the LBI School. Ship Bottom could use the LBI School for the town hall, police headquarters, senior center and perhaps offices for the volunteer fire company.

The 2018 engineering report by Owen Little & Associates states that the LBI School is “approaching the end of its lifespan.” Would the $7 million include repair or replacement of the existing damaged piles?

The health and safety of our children and the staff should be our highest priority. A school in a questionable state of repair should be a major concern for everyone.

Jim Cochrane

Surf City

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