Liverpool: Capital projects referendum June 26

On Thursday June 26, voters in the Liverpool Central School District will again go to the polls to decide whether or not to approve some $40 million in capital projects throughout the district.

In February, district residents rejected a $44.5 million proposal to renovate Liverpool Elementary, Liverpool Middle School and portions of the Wetzel Road campus and to replace the stadium at Liverpool High School. Next week, they'll vote on two reworked proposals.

"We did an exit poll after the last vote, and the voters told us what they were concerned about," Superintendent Jan Matousek said at a public hearing on the vote Monday June 16. "They wanted them separated out. They didn't want to vote on both on the same ballot. We've done that."

Indeed, the projects have been split into two propositions. One deals only with the building repairs, while the other addresses the stadium. To see what's included in each, see the breakout boxes on page 6.

The proposal differs also differs from that presented to the voters in February in that it's been financed over a shorter term. While the last proposal would have been paid for with 21-year serial bonds, this one will be paid for over 15 years.

"It's like a mortgage," Matousek said. "You can take out a 25-year loan, or you can take out a 15-year loan. With the shorter loan, your payments are higher, but you pay it off sooner."

The new proposal includes some cutbacks. The district is no longer seeking a performing arts center between LE and LMS, and some of the less-needed repairs to the buildings have been cut. But the district was reluctant to cut more than that.

"These are needed repairs," Matousek said. "This isn't a 'want.' It's a 'need.'"

The renovations include classroom expansions, mechanical and electrical upgrades, energy efficiency moves and repairs to bring the schools and stadium into compliance with ADA regulations.

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