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Please support Skaneateles schools capital project referendum

The Skaneateles Central School District Board of Education, administration and the entire school community appreciate the good turnout and the positive outcome for the May 21 budget vote. We are writing now about the capital project referendum vote that will occur on June 11. The proposed capital project will shore up our high school and middle school by providing strong, safe and secure facilities that will serve our students and community for the next 30 to 50 years.

The capital project is not inexpensive. The budget calls for an expenditure of $22.7 million over a five-year period. The actual work would occur in five phases over that same time period. This is a proposition that the board of education has taken seriously as many future generations of students and taxpayers will be impacted. We have extensively toured the buildings, listened to and received numerous comments from the public and we have spent many hours with our architects and bond specialists to fully understand all aspects of the proposed project. After much debate, we believe the time is right now to prepare our district for future generations.

The proposed project has seven main elements that encompass security, safety, energy and efficiency, major maintenance issues, asbestos abatement, programming updates and some site work. This work is needed to preserve the investment the community has made in its school facilities, and to prepare the main complex for the educational programming of the future.

The high school was built in 1954 while the middle school was built in 1965. With ages approaching 50 to 60 years, portions of these facilities are reaching their useful end. This project replaces 20-to-30-year-old roofs, inefficient and leaking 25-year-old windows, a 60-year-old boiler and water heater, and old and poor classroom lighting. It will finally remove all asbestos from the high school, fix cracked foundations and alleviate poor drainage, and repoint masonry that is porous and allowing water infiltration that threatens interior surfaces.

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