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Two Guilderland school playgrounds close for the summer

As a result of districtwide construction projects in Guilderland, the playgrounds at Altamont and Westmere elementary schools will be off limits for the duration of the summer.

The other elementary school playgrounds will have limited access, according to the district, however, the extent of the work at Altamont and Westmere has shut them down completely.

AES is slated to receive extensive renovations throughout the duration of the 18-month building project. For that reason, summer will be a very busy time for contractors within the building. Due to the scope of the work scheduled to take place in July and August, no one will be allowed in the building or on the school playground over the summer recess. This includes district staff members, according to an update released by the district.

In addition to work at Westmere and Altamont, districtwide improvements are expected to run through the fall of next year.

District voters approved the $26.97 million capital project that will include improvements for each school in the district except Farnsworth Middle School.

The project is expected to be completed by November 2010.

The tax impact of the building project is approximately 16.2 cents per $1,000 assessed value. For district residents owning property with an assessed value of $180,000, the average in Guilderland, the estimated tax increase is $2.43 per month, according to the district's Web site.

The district is borrowing $22.4 million over 15 years at an interest rate close to 4.75 percent. New York state building aid is reimbursing 60 percent of that amount. EXCEL aid will offset $1.78 million, and the Capital Reserve Fund will contribute $750,000. Also $2 million will be used from the district's fund balance. Taxpayers will be responsible for the remaining $9.4 million.

The district held a groundbreaking ceremony at Guilderland High School on Monday, June 22, to kick off the projects.

The high school is undergoing several major renovations including the relocation of the FOCUS classrooms; renovation of the technology education classrooms; infrastructure upgrades for the technology systems; masonry chimney repairs; a roof replacement; radon remediation; lighting upgrades in the new and old gyms; and construction work on the new classroom addition.

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