Cuts in school budget could cost J-D taxpayers

With a constricted budget looming on the horizon, the Jamesville-Dewitt School District could be facing several possible future facilities projects that would cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

There will be a $700 million cut in education under Governor Patterson's budget proposals for next year. J-D held back 5 percent of the state aid it received this year but additional cuts may have to be made if the governor's plan is passed by the legislature, according to district business executive Bill McIntyre.

Earlier this month, the district's facilities committee, made up of several school board members, superintendent Dr. Alice Kendrick, and McIntyre met with Nick Signorelli, a representative from the districts architectural firm Ashley McGraw Architects and Peter Larsen, an associate environmental specialist, about possible future projects.

Most pressing were the roofs on the different buildings in the district. Over the next few years, many warranties on roofs in the district will expire. Six roofs at the high school go offline before 2012, 25 percent of the middle school's roof expires before 2014. The entire roof at Moses Dewitt Elementary goes off warranty in 2013. Three roofs at Tecumseh Elementary go offline in 2014 and Jamesville Elementary is covered through 2015. In addition to school buildings, the roof of the bus garage on the high school campus goes offline in 2012. The ballpark figure for replacement of just the Middle and High School roofs is $3 million.

"When they are warrantied, the repairs on them are covered," said Jamesville-Dewitt School Board Vice President Virginia Murphy. "Once the warranty disappears there is no coverage for basic repairs . We don't replace roofs until we absolutely have to. We constantly have inspections going on and where there is leakage we repair."

Currently there is no imminent danger of excessive damage at the district. Dennis Spina of Bell and Spina P.C. Architect and Planners, the roof consultant for Syracuse University and the State University Construction Fund for Western New York, among other companies, said the school district can expect the roofs to remain useable for some time. His firm worked on the new copper dome at the county courthouse and he is currently working on the roof for the War Memorial in downtown Syracuse.

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