BALLSTON LAKE — The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central School District is looking for community members to serve on its Referendum Committee, which will help determine future projects in the district.
Assistant Superintendent for Support Services Christopher Abdoo said.
“One of the things I value quite a bit is to have a wide range in the diversity of opinions before any decisions are made,” said Assistant Superintendent for Support Services Christopher Abdoo. “What we try to do is get a wide cross section, we have representatives from the community at large who may want to participate in the committee; we ask for representatives from the parent-teacher associations, we have teacher representatives, from our staff, administration from our Board of Education.”
The committee will tour the district buildings, consider different projects being proposed in the district and research potential projects. At the end of the process in June, the committee will make recommendations to the Board of Education. Over the summer the board will make some decisions about what will go before voters in October.
“There’s no qualifications other than being an interested community member,” Abdoo said. “Sometimes there’s more people interested than what we have room for on the committee, but what we always tell them is that it’s an open committee. So even if you’re not an official member, you’re always welcome to join committee meetings, always free to see the process.”
The most recent referendums were approved by district voters in 2013 and 2018. Those referendums were aimed at improvement and renovation projects.
“One of our focuses this time will be on what we call our critical infrastructure,” Abdoo said. “We want to look at all of our systems, like our HVAC system, our electrical systems, our plumbing systems. Some of them have gotten quite old and one of the things we’re looking at is where is the estimated usable life of those systems, and do we need to upgrade anything.”
The scope of the project has not yet been determined. The first step in the process is to establish the Referendum Committee. The committee is expected to meet twice a month from January to June 2023.
The committee will also review the finances associated with each potential project and discuss the district’s current debt schedule, cost allowance, state building aid ratios, and aided projects vs non-aided projects, as well as listen to presentations from architects and engineers.
“We pride ourselves at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake on our decision-making,” Abdoo said. “And whenever we have to make decisions big or small, particularly with big decisions like this, we really want to make sure we involve as many people as possible. In a district like ours our school buildings are more than just school buildings, they’re really the center and the heart of our community.”
Community members who would like to be considered for the committee should send a letter of interest describing why they would like to be considered and include any professional or personal experiences they could contribute to the committee. Letters are due no later than Dec. 12 to Tara Mitchell, district clerk, at PO Box 1389, Ballston Lake, N.Y. 12019.