Saratoga County

$3.25M school projects going to vote

City school district residents will be asked in May to approve $3.25 million in capital improvement

City school district residents will be asked in May to approve $3.25 million in capital improvement projects at the high school and the Dorothy Nolan Elementary School.

District officials said Friday the projects will not have a school tax impact. Money would be transferred from an existing tax certiorari reserve account to do the work, according to Thomas Mele, assistant superintendent for elementary education.

The projects include car and bus safety improvements at the Dorothy Nolan school on Jones Road in Wilton. The school, with more than 900 students, is the largest of the district’s six elementary schools. The entrance loop in front of the school will be replaced with “a safer and more efficient dropoff loop,” Mele said.

There also would be additional parking on the east and west side of the school and more space in front of the school so buses can enter and park more effectively. The capital improvements would also include heating and air conditioning work in the elementary school media center.

Frank Palumbo, school board president, said Friday the Saratoga Springs High School projects would include replacing the roofs on some of the buildings on West Avenue.

“We will take care of those sections that need it the most,” Palumbo said.

The district did major renovation work, including some roof replacements, at the high school five years ago. The remaining work will be on roofs whose warranties are scheduled to end soon.

New piping will also be installed in the high school’s air handling-ventilation system. The renovation of the high school’s former competition gym is also among the projects.

Voters in the enlarged city school district will vote on the capital improvement proposition, the 2008-09 school budget, a bus purchase proposition and elect school board members on May 20.

The projects were selected from a much longer list of proposed capital improvements and maintenance projects created by a broad-based district facilities advisory committee that met for more than six months last fall and winter.

The district Board of Education approved the capital improvement proposition at this week’s meeting in the high school.

Mele said the district is able to transfer money from its tax certiorari reserve fund to the proposed projects because a settlement with National Grid on a large assessment case allows the district to pay money owed over a long period of time, rather than in one lump sum.

The board also approved a borrowing proposition that will be on the May 20 school ballot to purchase school buses at a cost of $845,000. The new buses will replace those with high mileage and mechanical problems. The district maintains a fleet of nearly 100 buses.

The Board of Education is still working on its proposed 2008-09 district budget of about $108,500,000, an increase of just over 4 percent from the current school budget.

A workshop meeting on the budget will held at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the high school’s Meade teaching auditorium on West Avenue. At this meeting the board will make decisions on new spending proposals and finalize the proposed budget for adoption as a preliminary budget at a regular board meeting April 8 at the Greenfield Elementary School.

Categories: Schenectady County

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