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Voters approve school projects

In a strong show of support for the South Colonie Central School District, residents approved by an almost 2-to-1 margin three separate school propositions totaling more than $9.7 million Thursday, Oct 19.

We want to thank district residents for once again showing their strong support for our schools and for recognizing the need to maintain our buildings so we can offer the best educational program for our children, said board of education president James Ryan.

The total tax impact for all three propositions combined is expected to be $16.18 per year for a home assessed at $150,000.

South Colonie Superintendent Michael Marcelle said he was pleased with Thursday's results and said the high voter turnout at the polls is a "true indicator of what the community feels it can support."

"Times are tough," Marcelle said, "but the results reinforce the value this community places on education and the importance of protecting the investment in their schools."

The vote broke down as follows:

Proposition No. 1: The district's annual school bus replacement proposition passed 1,028-560. It calls for spending $451,700 to purchase four 66-passenger buses; one 18-passenger and two wheelchair buses and one 20-passenger bus. This enables the district to keep its fleet safe and in good working condition by taking high-mileage buses out of service.

Proposition No. 2: A special capital project proposition totaling $7,684,000 passed 973-582. This will enable the district to spend $5,372,000 to replace antiquated roofs at Lisha Kill, Sand Creek, Saddlewood, Shaker Road schools and one section of the high school roof. Another $2,312,000 is ear-marked for replacing original boilers (30-40 years old) at Sand Creek, Forest Park and Veeder schools and the hot water system at the high school.

Proposition No. 3: A second special capital project proposition totaling $1,602,000 passed 965-569. This will enable the district to spend $1,140,000 to build three new classrooms at Veeder Elementary School, $273,000 to replace the floor drains at the bus garage, Forest Park, Roessleville, Veeder and the high school, and $189,000 to replace some wall panels that are disintegrating in the Lisha Kill Middle School gymnasium.

By taking on this capital project now, South Colonie is eligible for additional state aid called Excel Aid. This Excel Aid amounts to $1,825,000 of the total project cost. On top of that, the district will also be reimbursed 52 percent of the total cost through traditional state building aid.

The timeline for the capital improvement projects calls for submitting plans to the state Education Department for approval in the winter and putting the project out to bid in the spring. Work would begin when school gets out in the summer of 2007.""

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