Saratoga County

Voters approve Duanesburg schools capital project

PHOTOGRAPHER:

DUANESBURG — Voters this week approved a $28 million capital project brought forward by the Duanesburg Central School District that will see new roofing and other upgrades to school buildings beginning in 2024.

The $28 million project was approved by voters in a 184-115 referendum Thursday following months of outreach on behalf of district administration, which hosted a series of public forums and a building walkthrough in hopes of drumming up support for the project.

Superintendent Jim Niedermeier, who has described the project as the district building for the future, said that while district staff do their best to maintain the district’s aging buildings, at some point the fiscally responsible thing to do is make costly upgrades in order to improve learning conditions for students.   

“Our facilities are beautifully maintained by our team, but at some point, the fiscally responsible thing to do is to upgrade and replace items that show signs of eventually becoming a financial burden to the district and to taxpayers, like aging rooftops, windows and ventilation,” he said in a statement. “This capital project will allow us to address those concerns with a strategic approach that will prioritize the modernization of teaching and learning in our district in every phase of the project.”

The project, dubbed the “Centennial Capital Project” because it coincides with the 100-year anniversary of the opening of Delanson High School in 1925, includes new roofs at the high school and elementary school, classroom renovations and upgrades to cafeterias in both buildings. The district’s elementary school was originally constructed in the 1950s. 

Plans also call for updated playground equipment at the elementary school, building facade improvements, new alarms and HVAC upgrades along with a 400-square-foot addition to the district’s transportation facility.

The district will use $6 million in capital reserves and finance the remaining $22 million balance to pay for the project. There is no tax increase associated with the project, due to expiring debt and state reimbursement, according to the district. 

Work will be divided into two phases over three years, with phase one covering the roof and playground replacements beginning in the spring of 2024.

The second phase will take place from spring 2025 through summer 2026 and include renovations to the third grade wing, cafeteria upgrades and exterior upgrades, according to the district.

A final design phase for the first phase of construction is expected to begin in the coming days and periodic updates from the district are expected as progress is made.

Contact reporter Chad Arnold at: [email protected] or by calling 518-395-3120.

Categories: News, News, Schenectady County

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