Mahwah Board of Education members will continue to work with architects to refine a design for a “multi purpose” complex at the township high school while it waits for project approval from the state.
At its reorganization meeting Wednesday night, the board approved a submission of preliminary plans about the complex to be submitted to the state for review.
According to Board Business Administrator Ed Deptula, the submission to the state is a normal step when building any new structure or addition.
“We have to submit a broad picture, basically a schematic, to the state,” he said Wednesday night.
“We basically give them an overall picture of what we want to do, a rough estimate of how much it will cost, give or take, and where we will get the money.”
Deptula said the state DOE can either approve the project outright, or come back with specific questions about, or refinements of, the proposal. However, he added that he has never seen the state do anything but approve Mahwah submissions.
The pending state approval is not binding, officials said Wednesday, so the board could still nix the project if final architect pricing estimates are too high.
The board must receive the state’s approval before going out to bid on the 26,000 square foot facility that board members say will be mostly used for athletic practice space, marching band and color guard practice space, and by township and rec sports leagues.
It will likely take the state two to three months to review the submission, Deptula said.
Initial estimates said the complex will cost about $3.8 million, to come from the district's capital reserve account. The account contains funds dedicated to facilities improvements.
Until it hears from the state, board members said they would continue to work with architects to refine the final plan for the facility’s layout.