Greater Johnstown School District to hold November referendum on 2 potential projects


JOHNSTOWN Greater Johnstown School District voters will head to the polls Nov. 15 to cast ballots on whether or not the district should approve a $15 million capital project and a project to improve energy performance that won’t exceed $3 million, according to a district press release.

The $15 million capital project will address facility upgrades to the district’s five campuses, the release said.

The project has been in the works for two years and will address findings from the 2020 building condition survey, which include lighting, HVAC systems, pavement, infrastructure, plumbing and electric, according to the district. 

“The exact scope of the project will be finalized in the coming weeks and months,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. William Crankshaw in the release.

He said the Board of Education’s facilities committee will meet in September and October to finalize what should be done for the project and discuss financing options that best benefit the tax base. 

As part of the referendum, people will be voting on the district’s plan to use $1 million in reserves and financing the other $14 million. 

“Admittedly, upgrades to things like lighting and pavement are not very ‘flashy’ and maybe not exciting to most,” Crankshaw said in the statement. “But these repairs and upgrades are very necessary for the future health of our facilities. These upgrades will add to the longevity of our district’s buildings and ensure that our facilities continue to be a safe and inspiring place to learn and work.”

District voters will also vote on whether or not to approve an energy performance contract the district said will not to exceed $3 million, which will help improve the efficiency of the district, including the HVAC system and lighting. 

This project would be reimbursed through state aid and energy savings over 18 years, meaning no impact to the tax levy, according to the district. 

“Both the capital project and the energy performance contract are aligned with the district’s long range plan, which prioritizes academic, financial and capital needs over a five-10 year trajectory,” said Assistant Superintendent Alicia D. Koster in the release. “We’ve taken great strides to analyze how we can best align our debt, to the aid we expect to receive over the next 10-15 years to provide the community with a stable and consistent tax levy.”

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