The Montclair Board of School Estimate has given the go-ahead to three capital projects, including upgrades to two of Montclair's athletic fields.

During its Wednesday, Jan. 31 meeting at the George Inness Annex, the board approved three projects with a total cost of $3.4 million: upgrades to Woodman Field, Fortunato Field and the annex at Watchung School.

The board consists of Mayor Robert Jackson, councilors Rich McMahon and Bill Hurlock, BOE President Laura Hertzog and BOE member Joe Kavesh. Also present were Interim Superintendent Barbara Pinsak and Business Administrator Emidio D'Andrea.

The two fields are expected to receive overhauls of running track and turf surfaces. The Watchung annex has been a source of concern for parents and staff in recent years, due to the building's auditorium becoming uncomfortably warm during the spring and summer months.

The three projects had already been approved by the board of education and had been sent on to the BOSE for additional approval. The next step is for the district to meet with its buildings and grounds staff to work out a schedule, and to determine how much impact, if any, there will be on schedules.

Besides the capital projects, the main focus of the meeting was the laying out of goals for the school district and the BOE in the months and years ahead. The topics ensured equal access to technology in the classroom, ensuring that the bus routes were servicing the township's students, and laying out programs of curriculum development and professional development in different subject areas.

Hertzog said that the meeting, one of several taking place before the budget process, was part of one of the goals to keep the public informed about finances and other matters. "So before we come to you and ask for the money we're giving you a context why we're asking for it."

For the superintendent search, Hertzog said that the district expected to have finalists selected soon, with the intention of hiring someone in March to start work in July.

This is a developing story. Follow the Montclair Local for more information.