#GuilderlandNY #CapitalProject #Vote #MichaelHallisey #SpotlightNews
District residents have weighed in on what they find are the most important responsibilities for its public schools, and now it will decide whether or not to sign the check.
Voters will cast their ballot towards a $42.7 million capital improvement project with a packaged focus on security, health and preparedness on Tuesday, Oct. 16. Polls will be open at all elementary schools from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The estimated tax increase per year for the proposed projects is approximately 32 cents for every $1,000 of assessed value. The district extrapolated the cost to an average property owner of $326,000 to be $103.
The proposition aims to fund upgrades in each of the district’s seven school buildings. The district started addressing its aging infrastructure when it invited both residents to a survey in January. The district asked residents what characteristics they found most important in an ideal school. Nearly two-thirds of responders (61 percent) stated they valued safety and security.
Community members worked with architects and engineers to look at the district’s schools and maintenance buildings. Proposed improvements include enhancing safety and security measures at district buildings, installing a healthier and comfortable environment, and modernizing learning spaces.
Each cent of the estimated $42.7 million bill for the capital improvement project was itemized into three categories, each addressing responses from the January survey:
Safe and Secure
$21.2 million devoted to safety and security improvements centered around fire alarm, PA and telephone system replacements, added security cameras and shatter-resistant film; as well as plumbing upgrades and interior, exterior and site upgrades throughout the district’s seven school buildings
Healthy and Comfortable
$9.4 million for renovations to heating and ventilation and window replacement throughout the district’s seven school buildings.
$12.1 million for technology infrastructure and program upgrades to enhance instructional opportunities for students, such as science and technology lab modernization, reconfigurable mobile classroom furniture and wireless infrastructure upgrades.
The district anticipates that the state will reimburse the district approximately $0.65 for every dollar of eligible expenses. The district also stated that bond financing and more than $3 million in accumulated capital reserve funds will help reduce borrowing.
If voters approve the proposal, construction is expected to start in early 2020.
For more information about the proposed Capital Construction Project, visit guilderlandschools.org/capital-construction-project/.
Michael Hallisey is managing editor of Spotlight Newspapers.