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South Colonie proposes $4.4 M project

School officials say building work is safety related and necessary, vote Oct. 10

— Roof reconstruction and asbestos removal are two of the main focuses for a capital project plan in the South Colonie Central School District, which voters will have a say on come Wednesday, Oct. 10.

The proposed project would involve replacing sections of the Sand Creek Middle School and Colonie Central High School roofs as well as taking out a small section of asbestos in the ceiling of the high school. Plans are also underway to make the main entrance of the high school more compliant with American Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.

Superintendent Jonathan Buhner said that many of the items have been on the “priority list for a few years now.”

“We’ve been kind of waiting because the economy was so difficult,” Buhner said. “At this point we feel that we need to address (the items) … they can be more expensive later.”

The district would borrow nearly $4.4 million for the project. That bond will end up costing taxpayers about $2.3 million (including interest) after accounting for state aid. The bond would cost the owner of a $150,000 property an additional $9.30 per year for the 15-year life of the bond.

Assistant Superintendant for Management Services and Strategic Planning Sherri Fisher said the district is aware it is “not a terrific economy” but officials feel the project is necessary.

“We consciously chose to scale this at safety and health issues that we needed to address,” Fischer said.

Sections of the roof at both the middle school and the high school are in need of reroofing, Buhner said. Though both roofs have held up for many years, Buhner said parts have met their “useful life limit.”

Over the years, the insulation in the high school’s rubber roof has become wet and expanded, ultimately stretching the roof.

“You can patch it for a while but at a certain point the roof loses its integrity,” Buhner said. “They do hold up … (but) at a certain point, you’re spending more money repairing it.”

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