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What you need to know for 01/21/2018

BH-BL voters approve school bond

BH-BL voters approve school bond

Residents approved a $34.2 million bond issue for the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central School Distr

Residents approved a $34.2 million bond issue for the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central School District on Tuesday by a roughly 2-1 vote.

Slightly more than 2,000 people turned out to vote on the issue, which will pay to create technology classrooms, move district offices and make other improvements. It is the largest bond issue the district has ever proposed, and the turnout was the most ever for a referendum in the district, nearly equalling the number of votes for the budget in May.

District Superintendent Patrick McGrath said the strong support for the issue demonstrated the high value residents place on education. “The next few years are going to be very exciting as our schools are transformed into spaces that allow and encourage all of our students to collaborate, communicate, design, create, invent, problem-solve and think critically,” he said in a statement.

According to a post on the district’s website, the 33 projects that will receive funding include work in the areas of 21st century learning, critical infrastructure and energy conservation, athletics and physical education and safety and security.

The bond will be paid for by a tax levy increase of less than 1 percent, and nearly 77 percent of the project will be covered by state building aid, according to the district. District officials previously estimated the borrowing would cause a tax increase of about $40 a year for a house assessed at $200,000 and as little as $20 a year if the owner qualifies for the maximum senior citizen tax exemption.

Once work is complete on the 33 projects, students and faculty will benefit from upgraded classrooms; a science, engineering, arts and math wing at the high school; better traffic patterns around the Stevens Elementary School; a new multipurpose artificial turf field; renovated middle school science labs; and a modernized library learning commons at the high school.

Residents in the district have voted on bond issues every five or six years since 1978. According to the district website, all of those projects were completed within the budget approved by voters.

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