Scotia-Glenville School District discusses building project costs

Despite the $27.7 million price tag for Scotia-Glenville School District building renovations, the tax impact on residents would not be too dramatic, said school officials at the Monday, Sept. 29, school board meeting.

Board members asked the financial advisors and architects at the meeting to discuss how they could scale down costs while still managing to update and repair many of the buildings and athletic facilities before the project goes before voters in December.

Representatives from Fiscal Advisors and Marketing said the estimated tax increase stands right now at about 2.68 percent, which would be phased in over three years. To the average homeowner in the Scotia-Glenville district, that would mean a one-time annual tax increase of $72 on a home assessed at $160,000 that would remain the same for the 15-year repayment period. That number would decrease with any STAR tax exemptions and may further decrease depending on state aid.

The district's cost for the project would be reduced by an 80.9 percent state aid reimbursement, an estimated $934,871 in special state EXCEL, or Expanding our Children's Education and Learning, aid and use of a $900,000 debt reserve. The tax increase would rise over a three-year period before tapering off.

Superintendent Susan Swartz said the increase would not be seen by taxpayers until the 2009-2010 school year because of anticipated delays by the state.

We are not even looking at this project beginning until a few years from now, said Swartz.

John Jojo of Mosaic Associates Architects said that because of work in areas that still need to be used by students, his firm would work holidays, weekends and summers to keep disruption of the academic year at a minimum.

"We are used to having to work around students and faculty," said Jojo.

Board members are particularly cautious of spending in light of the shaky economic situation unfolding across the country.

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