School district considering referendum for facilities upgrades

— After receiving the results of a state-mandated building condition survey that showed a facilities improvement project of some kind will be necessary for the district in the immediate future, the Cazenovia Central School District administration and board of education are currently deciding the scope of the building project and whether the district will need to hold a public referendum to pay for the improvements.

The issue of building upgrades and repairs previously was broached at the board’s May meeting, when facilities committee member Pat Vogl said the committee felt it was time for the district to look into its next construction project. He said there were millions of dollars in facilities improvements the district needed to start addressing. Bill Furlong, assistant superintendent for building and finance agreed and said the school board should start to address the issue sooner rather than later before currently high construction costs climb higher.

New York state mandates school district building condition surveys be performed every five years.

The results of the building survey showed numerous issues that must be addressed, including many of “immediate impact that we can’t do ourselves” such as degraded water mains, boilers, windows and roofing, said Superintendent Bob Dubik.

“That water main break we had last year … our pipes are from 1931,” he said. “So we have to look over several essential issues that we face.”

At the board’s June 17 meeting, its members voted unanimously to hire Tetra Tech consultants and engineers at a cost of $25,000 to provide pre-referendum architectural services to the district to help assess facility needs and determine the scope of the building project. The board previously hired Tetra tech to complete the building condition survey.

The board also approved a proposal from Campus Management Group, Inc., to provide pre-referendum construction management services for $7,500. The cost will not be paid unless the referendum passes.

The board also scheduled a work session for 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 9, in order to discuss the recent building condition survey and tour some of the issue areas in the district buildings.

“We will discuss what was on the survey and decide if a capital project needed to bring to voters,” Dubik said of the process. “Nothing has been decided yet, we have to review the list and prioritize it.”

Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at editor@cazenoviarepublican.com.

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