District ponders capital projects

Mohonasen Central School District's Board of Education is looking to design a capital project that would bring full-day kindergarten and universal pre-K to the district, as well as other programmatic upgrades.

The board agreed to move forward on the project during its meeting Monday, Aug. 18.

In order to add these primary school programs a vote is not required. However, the need for additional space will force the board to bring the proposal forward to voters.

Superintendent Kathleen Spring said the board could have a plan developed to put before voters this winter, although the cost of the projects has not yet been determined.

She said the district is looking to utilize state funding for the project. Under the district's building incentive aid, the state would pay 95 percent of the district's approved cost allowance.

"If we act now, we will be able to add these programs, which are crucial to providing a world class education here at Mohonasen, while we are still eligible for 95 percent state building aid," said Spring.

In order to accommodate full-day kindergarten and universal pre-k, the district would have to expand its current facilities or purchase a new building in the area to house primary and elementary school students. Spring said the board is not looking to build a new school.

Spring said the board is looking at all projects that would allow the school to obtain 95 percent building aid, so that the project can be completed at no cost to local taxpayers.

She said additional funding to offset the start up costs associated with the implementation of full day kindergarten are available through the state and that she is not sure if the district qualifies for funding to develop a universal pre-kindergarten program.

"We're really at the beginning stages," Spring said. The board will hold focus groups throughout the fall to garner input from the community on the district's needs.

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