The Skaneateles Board of Education voted unanimously to go forward with a 22,675,621 capital bond project to do renovations to the middle school and high school at its April 9 meeting.
The proposed project will include roof replacements, asbestos abatement, safety, security and energy efficiency improvements, most of which was deemed to be essential by the board.
The board did take a few meetings to more closely examine and discuss some of the other projects on the bond, however.
This included $1.29 million in upgrades and repairs to the high school auditorium, $348,000 to renovate the high school’s wellness center and build new team locker rooms, $157,000 for a new announcer box and $5.48 million for a new, bigger middle school gym.
The board members decided to go forward with some of the more pricey improvements after hearing from taxpayers who supported the project.
Board president Evan Dreyfuss said that he had received more than 50 emails regarding the project, all of which were in favor of including the new gym. The new gym and improved auditorium will be considered “big community assets” for decades, he said.
Board members Kathryn Calrson said the community made themselves “loud and clear” that they were willing to pay for these projects. “If we are going to do it, we may as well do it the best we can,” she said.
The project will include five phases over five years and will be paid for with a bond that will be re-paid by taxpayers and state aid over a longer period.
New middle school gym
One of the items that the board spent much time debating in previous meetings was what to do about the middle school gym. The building is settling into the ground causing damage to the structure including foundation damage and cracked walls and floor in the locker rooms.