Facilities Referendum 

A Critical Need. 
A Transformative Opportunity. 
A Responsible Investment.

entry grade 5 and 6 school

exterior grade 5 and 6 school
Exterior concepts of proposed 5/6 school.

Student crowded in the hallways at PHS during a passing period.

Students crowded into the hallways of PHS during a passing period. 


All of the Princeton Public Schools are currently at or over capacity.  District enrollment has grown by approximately 10% since 2013, from 3,440 to 3,769 students. Conservative estimates indicate that enrollment will likely rise by another 10% or 380 students by 2022 and still another 8-10% by 2027, for a district-wide total of over 4,500 students.  Princeton High School and John Witherspoon Middle School are already out of classroom space, and each of our elementary schools will be over capacity within a few years.

Without increasing our capacity by building a new 5/6 school and expanding Princeton High School, we will be forced to significantly increase class sizes, reduce elective offerings, and take other actions that compromise the educational excellence that is our district's hallmark.District Wide Enrollments PreK through 12. High School Enrollments

Middle School Enrollments

Elementary Enrollments


With the need to make room for our growing student body comes the opportunity to do so in ways that are cost-effective, sustainable, and supportive of how our students learn and the way our teachers want to teach. 

  • We have the opportunity to adapt existing space to make room for our growing student population, and at the same time, make our schools more flexible for collaboration, creativity, and authentic problem-solving. 
  • We have the opportunity to create a 5/6 school that uniquely nurtures children during their pre-adolescent years. 
  • We have the opportunity to make all of our schools safer and more secure.

  • We have an opportunity to create comfortable spaces, filled with natural light, that are welcoming to students and families, and sustainable for our environment, and to do so with no increased cost.   

  • We have the opportunity to enhance our athletic facilities to ensure we have adequate space for our students to practice and to play.

  • We have the opportunity to intentionally design space in a way that helps our existing community partners better support the health and education of our students and their families.

  • We have the opportunity to preserve and enhance our community’s values by aligning our schools and facilities with up-to-date, best practices - and to do so in the most cost-effective manner possible. 


The facilities referendum is an investment in our home values and in our community, but most importantly it is an investment in our children. As we respond to the growing enrollment numbers in our district, we are committed to doing so in a way that is fiscally responsible and we are working with independent financial advisors to limit the tax impact to our community. We will be refinancing current debt, scheduling the borrowing of bonds over time, and using state aid to offset the cost of renovations and new construction. With our district’s AAA credit rating, conservative fiscal management, and low levels of debt, we will be able to borrow at the best interest rates possible, thereby minimizing the tax impact on homeowners. 

As we plan our facilities referendum, we want to make sure that our buildings are energy efficient so that we save money on operating costs and uphold our community’s value for sustainability. For instance, we will be making HVAC updates at all of our schools. Maintaining our facilities is not only in the best interest of our students, but it’s also prudent stewardship. By making a fiscally responsible and critical investment now that provides students with safe and comfortable learning spaces, we will save tax dollars in the longer term as construction and financing costs rise.


  • PHS Renovation: We will be reclaiming the various courtyards spread throughout PHS and turning those spaces into flexible learning areas that align with teaching and learning needs.
  • 5/6 School at Valley Road: We will create much needed space at JW and at our elementary schools by moving grades 5 and 6 into a new school that will uniquely support the learning and developmental needs of our pre-adolescent students.
  • Safety and Security: We will be making safety and security upgrades at all of our schools, including creating secure but welcoming entrances for each school.
  • HVAC/Sustainability: We will be making energy efficient maintenance upgrades at all schools, including upgrades to air conditioning systems at each school.
  • Athletics: We will be enhancing our athletic fields and facilities to ensure that our students have the space they need to practice and to play.
  • Space for Valley Road Administration, Transportation and Facilities: We will purchase 15 acres and two existing office buildings at Thanet Circle for the employees, buses, and equipment currently housed at the Valley Road site. 


We want your feedback! Share your ideas, insights, and perspectives with us by emailing referendum@princetonk12.org.

Photos of classrooms and current facilities

PHS classrooms 2018

Overcrowded PHS classrooms

Overcrowded classrooms at PHS

Warped gymnasium floors at PHS
Warped gymnasium floors at PHS

Warped gymnasium floors at PHS

Students studying in hallways at PHS
Limited study space at PHS

Limited study space at PHS

Limited study space in PHS Media Center
Limited space in the Media Center

​Classroom in JW Learning Commons
JW Learning Commons