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Skaneateles BOE to return to public with $2.5 million capital project proposal

Vote planned for December on new building improvements project pending board approval

The Skaneateles schools board of education is planning to propose a $2.5 million capital improvements project to the public this December.

The Skaneateles schools board of education is planning to propose a $2.5 million capital improvements project to the public this December. Photo by Joe Genco.

Some of the issues that were not included in this project, such as asbestos removal and the middle school gymnasium, will be addressed by future projects, Lambdin said. By doing smaller capital projects at shorter intervals than have been done in the past, the district will be better able to adapt to the needs of the district and get public input, he said.

Board member Margaret Usdansky-Niebuhr said that the board should distribute information and hold meetings with residents before the October approval to get feedback and do their best to inform the public about the project and why it is necessary.

Board members and school principals also stressed that they want to sign up as many people as they can for the School News Notifier, an automated system that sends out messages via email or text message to residents about important issues in the district. Anyone can sign up for the service at skanschools.org.

In other business:

-- At the beginning of the meeting, Skaneateles graduate Matt Leverich read a speech he had prepared, but was unable to read due to rain, for graduation commending outgoing high school principal Georgette Hoskins for her years of dedication to the district.

The board also recognized Timothy Chiavara who was attending his last meeting as middle school principal, he will also be retiring shortly after the start of the school year.

--Bates addressed the district’s recent drop in credit rating. Moody’s Corporation, an independent firm that determines credit ratings for school districts, dropped Skaneateles one notch from an AA3 to an AA2 rating.

Bates said that the rating will not affect current debt, but would have a slight impact on interest rates and financing for any future loans. Bates said that the drop was a result of a number of factors including the local economy, lack of assessment increases and the public’s defeat of the capital project referendum in June. He said that the district will apply for a better rating prior to sending out a bid for a new bond.

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