Saratoga County

$10M proposition to go to Shen voters

Residents of the Shenendehowa Central School District will vote on a $10 million capital improvement

Residents of the Shenendehowa Central School District will vote on a $10 million capital improvement proposition on Oct. 24.

The project includes high-priority health and safety upgrades and repairs to buildings as well as some “strategic enhancements” in the district such as district wide Wi-Fi.

Superintendent L. Oliver Robinson said the way the improvements and repairs will be financed will mean “pennies on the dollar” for district taxpayers.

The net impact on taxpayers is a .03 percent tax increase over 15 years.

“This amounts to an extra $1.49 per year on a $250,000 home,” says a district statement on the proposition.

“We are leveraging other resources to minimize the impact [on taxpayers],” Robinson said.

He said some of the buildings in the 9,700-student district are 50 years old or older. He said the Shenendehowa staff went through an extensive facilities review process last year and identified projects that needed to be done.

“We want to keep on top of things, upgrade things,” Robinson said.

Such projects as replacing original pipe fittings that have caused leaks throughout the Arongen school and replacing fire alarm control panels and original exhaust fans are included on the long list of projects.

The projects include every building in the district.

The project will also provide Wi-Fi wireless Internet throughout the campus at an estimated cost of $1.8 million. Another $310,000 will be spent to upgrade off-site backup and disaster recovery capacity and emergency generators.

The projects also include reconstructing the existing wrestling and weight room areas to create multi-level physical fitness space at High School East at an estimated cost of $2.1 million.

The high-priority health and safety needs throughout the district will cost an estimated $3.5 million with a projected $2.3 million in incidental costs and contingencies.

District residents will be able to vote on the proposition from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 24 in the Gowana Middle School gymnasium.

The total price of the proposition is $10,072,663. The total the district plans to borrow for the project is $2.6 million.

The Board of Education plans to use $2.3 million of the district’s Capital Reserve Fund to reduce the amount to be borrowed. The financial package includes refinancing of existing district debt of $5.1 million at no added cost to taxpayers, according to a district presentation on the referendum.

Robinson said the school board will hold a required public hearing on the projected use of the reserve money at 7 p.m. Sept. 25 in the Gowana Middle School library on Shenendehowa’s main campus off Route 146.

He said during this school board meeting there will also be a presentation of the project for interested residents. The projects and all costs involved are also listed on the district’s website:

If district residents approve the proposition, architectural and engineering designs and specifications will be developed from November through January. The projects will be submitted to the state Board of Education for its approval in January. Bids will be sought, opened and awarded by the end of May. From June through September 2013, the projects would be constructed and completed.

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