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News Alert
Suspected 'Red Bull' Robbers From Toms River Wawa …

Bennett Bubble Almost Back Up

Measure to repair the indoor track complex flattened by Hurricane Sandy was approved by school board unanimously

The Bennett Athletic Center was nearly re-inflated Saturday morning.

Toms River School District spokeswoman Tammi Millar said the "bubble" was 95 percent inflated, and the district's maintenance foreman, John Biscotti, was on site.

A schedule for future events is posted on the center's webste, indicating the postponements that came as a result of Sandy:

Sat. December 15 DEMAREST INVITATIONAL (postponed until December 22)
Postponed due to Hurricane Sandy Wed. December 19 SOUTH JERSEY TRACK MEET
Fri. December 21 Olympic Conference
Sat. December 22 Demarest Inviational Postponed from December 15
Postponed due to Hurricane Sandy Sat. December 22 MERLI LARGE / MERLI SMALL Postponed until December 29th
Meet postponed due to Hurricane Sandy Thu. December 27 SOUTH JERSEY TRACK MEET
Sat. December 29 Merli Invitaional Large and Small Schools (postponed from 12-22)
Meet may be combined depending on amount of schools entered Wed. January 2 SOUTH JERSEY TRACK MEET
Thu. January 3 SOUTH JERSEY TRACK MEET
Fri. January 4 GREATER MIDDLESEX CONFERENCE

The cost of fixing the center could come in at $800,000, but the Toms River Regional School District is hoping FEMA would pay for 75 percent of the cost after an insurance deductible, leaving the school district with a $25,000 bill.

In a recent special board meeting, Toms River Regional school board heard from residents, Intermediate East staff and physical education teachers and coaches about whether to repair the flattened Bennett “Bubble,” which ripped as Hurricane Sandy’s high winds and power outages hit Toms River.

The structure, on the Intermediate East campus, has lain flat since the storm, in what district officials said has risked the coming indoor track season as well as overcrowding of the intermediate gym classes.

School Business Administrator Bill Doering estimates the cost to repair the Bubble could come in around $800,000. However, the district’s insurance deductible is $100,000.

Superintendent Frank Roselli said that after he, Doering and other officials met with FEMA on Nov. 21, he came away assured that the district would only be paying for 75 percent of that, or $25,000.

“We are responsible for 25,000 of that regardless of the cost,” said Board President Ed Gearity.

barbara December 08, 2012 at 04:48 PM
so agree, FEMA wont give us anything cause not my "primary" home that was destroyed. sucks. my son, who rents this home in toms river can't get help from FEMA to get some furniture back, they say he needs to take a loan. not right.
barbara December 08, 2012 at 04:50 PM
wish my "secondary" house in toms river was almost back.
Chief Wahoo December 08, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Inflating a BUBBLE !!!........How Ironic !
Exit82 December 08, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Could you send a copy to Mike Ritacco. I'm sure he would appreciate the update on the "Bubble" repair. I'm going to send him a Christmas card, just to brighten his spirits as this will be his first Christmas away from home.
Veronica Adamkiewicz December 08, 2012 at 05:44 PM
The "Bubble" the tax payers voted down, that Mike Ritacco went ahead and had built anyway. Now costing taxpayers $25,000 more, for something the majority didn't want in the first place. In my opinion, not a priority considering so many TRRS students are still homeless due to Sandy.
Thinkabout it December 08, 2012 at 06:15 PM
I wonder ones it up if it will be used for temp housing while so many are still homeless & will be at least another 8 to 10 months before they can return to their homes?
Sandra December 08, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Go have a could car washes and earn money for that big waste of ugly construction you want back up. Why not ask Fema to put the Roller Coaster back up too? Why not send the bubble request to the Paulsboro residents and see if they think the bubble is more important than them too. Those are some suggestions for those of you who have priorities up your butt.
Sandra December 08, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Oh I have to restate what I said on the first line. I was so flabbergasted with the stupidity here on this forum regarding the bubble. What I meant to state was "Go have a few car washes to earn extra money...
Sandra December 08, 2012 at 06:35 PM
good one. had it stayed up it would have been a Ritacco Big Top Housing.
grace December 08, 2012 at 08:04 PM
sickening what they spend our tax money on! yet cant get a jersey mikes or chipoltle grill approved in toms river
grace December 08, 2012 at 08:05 PM
thanks jen now thank dad for your job
grace December 08, 2012 at 08:06 PM
just like he gave jobs to friends kids and their spouses...certificates or not! thanks mike
. December 08, 2012 at 10:36 PM
Of all of the things in Toms River that need repair, this is what money is wasted on? They should have left it down!
Irina December 09, 2012 at 05:00 AM
I drove past the other day and was sickened to see this eyesore back up. It's existance is just a thorn in our sides knowing we all voted NO and Mikey went and built it anyway. More wasted money on this monstrosity.
Ken December 09, 2012 at 05:49 AM
Well for a job where you work part time a starting salary of almost $50,000 a year is pretty good. Wonder how most of these teachers would survive if they actually had to owrk 8 hour days, 5 days a week and actually have to work year round. A lot of them did not even go to school to become teachers, but they had their mommies and daddies get them jobs as teachers anyway. No wonder the level of education is down in Toms River schools.
Ken December 09, 2012 at 05:50 AM
Barbara I hope you know I was actually being sarcastic with my above statement
Ken December 09, 2012 at 05:51 AM
I agree with you totally, it is just being thrown in the taxpayers face since the BOE and the administrators still think they can do whatever they want.
barbara December 09, 2012 at 03:19 PM
yes, Ken, i know you were being sarcastic. lol
grace December 09, 2012 at 03:53 PM
i know its for the kids ! haha well if it is then put in bathrooms etc..and its another bunch of bull from toms river schools it was voted down but as we can see it doesnt matter....thanks mike for our pensions, jobs, cousins jobs .kids jobs etc and etc
grace December 09, 2012 at 04:05 PM
lol ken! i cant help but feeling bitter over this whole thing...bubble teachers who were hired because of who you knew being made supers and so on..what a waste
concernedmomof2 December 09, 2012 at 04:17 PM
it is ALL about who you know...I know 2 people who graduated and cant find teaching jobs...But its ok...we have a high school teacher at Brick High calling students "special ed" telling kids he will be poor because of them...telling them they wont graduate...WTF...was that a curriculum in college...bullying and putting students down... Who gives a crap about the BUBBLE...there are many other important issues these schools in Brick and Toms river need to worry about....LIKE mold in the schools...drugs...dealing drugs...shooting up in bathrooms...LETS PUT OUR MONEY AND HEART INTO GETTING THE DISPLACED FAMILIES HOMES BACK...THE THINGS THE KIDS LOST FROM SANDY....PRIORITIES PEOPLE...COME ON.....Ocean cty schools have gone down the tubes....and if I could afford to be back in Bergen cty I wud be back...but cant afford $3000 a month for a 3 bedroom...
grace December 09, 2012 at 08:22 PM
key word they are " hoping" FEMA will pay you all see that board of ed members?
chtulu2000 December 10, 2012 at 02:04 AM
Wow...a lot of hatred here...I hope that all of you posting these rants (truthful enough as some are) attend the BoE meetings and speak...oh wait, unless you are all Dennis Mrs Benson, or JD, you sit at home whining instead of doing something.
DS December 10, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Lets set the record straight. The bubble and the pine belt arena are the only TRRS projects that sustain themselves. Meaning they make money. The bubble had to be repaired to make money from scheduled events. I see the place packed almost everyday during the winter. And yes, you have to know someone to get a teaching job in TR!
JD December 10, 2012 at 01:51 PM
What is your definition of "making money"??? Albeit the bubble revenue may exceed expenses.... the return on investment is insufficient. The bubble less than $50,000/yr however the investment was $2.7million. A 20yr T-note purchased in June 2004 would provide a better return on investment. The minimum profit the Bubble should be making is $250,000 per year... that would have an equal ROI had TR invested 2.7million in a 20yr T-note in June 2004. Therefore, the Bubble ROI does not meet the minimum threshold.
Mike L December 10, 2012 at 02:04 PM
I just have one question.....How did the Bubble originally and now reopening get a CO from the Township.....it doesn't even have facilities, and if you think Porta Potties are the answer than someone who approved the opening and reopening should be fired. They have set a president that any structure only needs a Porta Pottie to open. Boy has the Township lowered its standards
WhitingBoy December 10, 2012 at 03:30 PM
@ JD…you are comparing a building to a financial investment? This is a structure. It is one of only a few structures in Ocean County that was built for a purpose that generates revenue. Compare it to other structures; such as a school building or a library…they are good investments that produce non-financial results. This is a structure that produces similar non-financial results, but has the added benefit of also producing revenue. Your analogy doesn't make any sense.
JD December 10, 2012 at 03:51 PM
It makes sense... The bubble was built to "make money"... to reduce tax burden. So, what is the "minimum profit" it should make!! If TRRS needed more "gym" space... they could have built an auxilary gym for $500K!! You don't build an indoor track at $2.7million because you need more "gym space".. duh!
grace December 10, 2012 at 06:06 PM
the arena and bubble are cash only...so as before at the ritacco center maybe we should look at who takes that cash and where it really goes...only because the same guy heads both and did back in the ritacco day also...rumor has it suicide was over that cash and no news relating to it in papers etc...thats because of chief of police and his relationship to ritacco...wow he had some hold on this town
Mac December 10, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Is it true that our sheriff went down with the bubble after his setup of the county emergency management communications headquarters for Hurricane Sandy inside the bubble? It sure would explain why he has been missing in action for the past several weeks. Since the position of county sheriff seems to have little to do with running the sheriff’s department, perhaps we should retire the county sheriff's position in honor of our current sheriff when, or if, he retires or leaves the job. It would be in the spirit of a sports team retiring the number of a valuable team player at the end of the player's career. It could even be chalked up to the bubble creating another $200K income savings annually. Now that's building team spirit.

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