Voters in the Ballston Spa School District on Tuesday approved a bond referendum that will fund nearly $24 million in facility improvements.
In the Guilderland Central School District, voters narrowly defeated a $42.7 million capital project that would have included more than $21 million in safety and security upgrades. The margin was 59 votes.
In Ballston Spa, the preliminary vote count was 894 for the referendum and 244 against.
Guilderland votes tallied 1,368 against and 1,309 in favor of the project.
Improvements that will now proceed in Ballston Spa include:
* Renovations in the Grove Street section of the Malta Avenue Elementary School.
* Updated classrooms, bathrooms and locker rooms at Ballston Spa Middle School.
* Upgrades to the auditorium and technology classroom access at Ballston Spa High School.
* Rehabilitation of athletic fields in front of and behind the middle school, construction of a new multi-purpose field on the south end of the campus and a new athletic storage building.
The bond referendum totaled $23,980,000. The district will utilize $6.3 million from its capital reserve fund.
According to figures provided by the district, the projected net tax impact on an average home assessed at $235,000 is estimated to be an average of $11.60 per year, starting in 2021.
The Guilderland projects included $21 million for improvements to the district's fire alarm system, phone and and public address systems. The addition of a new shatter-resistant coating for district windows was part of the plan.
The Guilderland proposal also included $9.4 million to improve energy efficiency, heating and ventilation in the district's seven schools. More than $12 million would have been used to upgrade science and technology labs and upgrade wireless capabilities.
“We are disappointed in the outcome, especially because it was so close," said Dr. Marie Wiles, the district's superintendent of schools, in a news release. "We will use the feedback from our exit poll to re-evaluate and plan our next steps. There is still critically important work to be done to keep our students in a safe, secure, healthy learning environment.”
Contact Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 518-395-3124 or at [email protected]