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Residents to vote on large facilities project in Ballston Spa school district

On Wednesday, Aug. 18, the Ballston Spa School District Board of Education approved a resolution that will put a proposed $49.3 million facilities improvement project referendum up for vote on Oct. 19.

Phase I that residents will vote on addresses what the district and facilities planning committee feel are the most urgent and pressing needs regarding building infrastructure, health and safety issues, open classroom space deficiencies and the aging Malta Avenue facility, said Superintendent Joseph Dragone. "We spent around 15 months on a planning process, consulting the community and assessing the needs for these improvements."

The facilities planning committee was made up of 40 community members, parents, educators, business reprentatives, elected local officials and community organizations, who reviewed each of the district's buildings and grounds. It met bi-weekly for seven months in 2009 and made recommendations to the board of education in January 2010, which specified a "vision" and provided principles and prioritized the schedule of improvements. The board of education assessed options to implement the recommendations and the first in a series of referenda that will be presented to voters over the course of several years, is what goes to vote in October.

Details of the first phase of the facilities improvement plan is extensive and an in-depth look at what's planned and proposed is available on the district's Web site, www.bscsd.org.

In summary, Malta Avenue Elementary School is first on the list of targeted improvements. The plan calls for repair to the exterior walls, structural floor systems and stairs. It cites repair and replacement of roofing, windows and window treatments to increase energy efficiency and selected exterior doors for energy saving and building security. Connector additions will be constructed to link buildings for better accessibility and an elevator will be installed to offer handicapped access at each level of the building. Improvements to mechanical aspects of the building are planned, like a repair and upgrade to the HVAC system and ventilation, which will improve health, safety and energy efficiency. The boiler will be upgraded, electrical systems will be upgraded to improve classroom and corridor lighting and fire alarm systems will be updated. There will also be basic repairs like painting and drainage.

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