B'ville Capital Project passes

District residents have approved $26 million in capital improvement projects throughout the Baldwinsville school district.

The vote took place yesterday with 897 residents in favor and 652 against.

Project design will begin in the spring with construction expected to begin in June 2010.

Security, safety, system and technology upgrades take up much of the approved budget with half of the funds going to Baker High School. Upgrades at the Pelcher-Acardo Stadium will benefit the people using it for a variety of activities.

Most of the funding is expected to come from the state: $21.1 million from annual building construction and improvement aid and $1.9 million from a one-time "EXCEL aid" fund. The remainder of the project will be paid for with $3 million from the district's capital reserve. Bonds may be issued.

The school board has said that no increase in local taxes will be required. However, should the state reduce the amount of aid after the project is underway, the school board stated they would "re-evaluate the components of the project that would need to be eliminated or reduced in order to avoid the tax increase."

These capital improvements were part of an October 2007 proposal that was defeated by voters.

"From the survey we did [after residents voted against the October 2007 vote], one of the reasons for the defeat was that it was coupled with the proposed artificial turf at the Pelcher-Acaro field. This is no longer in the budget," said Michael Shusda, assistant superintendent for management services at Baldwinsville Central schools.

This revised project takes into account three priorities residents indicated in the survey: improving the delivery of educational services, improving the safety of facilities and limiting the tax dollar increase.

Here are some highlights, building-by-building:

Baker High School - $13,463,000 estimated cost

- Replace portion of heat system and controls, air supply fans, emergency power generator, main electrical transformers and switch, science fume hoods, curtain wall/doors at entrance near small gym, original curtain wall/doors, main entrance with a lobby addition for security purposes and due to system deterioration, gym roof, gym bleachers and folding partition

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