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Skaneateles CSD puts facility project bond to public vote Dec. 10

Board to hold public hearing on $2.8 million proposal Dec. 2

--$102,056 for reconstruction of a boiler room areaway used for air intake.

--$94,206 for safety and security upgrades. These include new security cameras and new locksets for classrooms to improve safety in the case of an emergency lockdown.

The bond total also includes money for capitalized interest ($114,000), to defer the impact of the bond on the budget to the 2015-16 school year, and incidental costs in case the construction doesn’t go as planned or if building supplies cost more than expected.

Anyone who lives in the Skaneateles school district, and is at least 18 year of age, may vote. Residents do not need to be registered to vote in the general election to vote on school propositions.

Other facility projects

The administration has deemed the 2013 project to be “phase one” of the required facility work that was originally proposed as a $22.3 million bond. That bond went to vote and was rejected last June, though the board has maintained that much, if not all, of the areas to be addressed on that bond are still important. Phase one deals with the most vital projects that need to be handled as soon as possible to prevent further water damage to the building.

The remaining projects from the original bond will be proposed in referendums over the course of the next four or more years.

Phase two, estimated to be $1.4 million, will appear on the May ballot with the annual budget referendum, according to a tentative timeline of projects available on the district’s website. Phase three, planned for a vote in May 2015, will include asbestos abatement, floors, ceilings, heating and lighting. Phase four would include originally proposed renovations to the middle school gym and the high school auditorium and be voted on in 2017 or 2018.

At its Nov. 19 meeting, Interim Superintendent of Schools Judy Pastel announced that the board will be forming a community study group to work with the board’s facilities committee to formulate future proposals. The facilities committee, who worked with Bates to come up with the phase one proposal, is composed of board president Kathryn Carlson, board vice president Thomas Lambdin and board member Sue Murphy.

The board of education will hear public feedback before finalizing each referendum and approving it for a public vote. By state law, the district is not allowed to borrow money or do any major facility work without public approval and approval by the state education department.

Joe Genco is the editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at editor@skaneatelespress.com.

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