The Fayetteville-Manlius School District Board of Education is poised to make a decision on the scope and cost of a large-scale capital project that, if approved by voters, would update failing infrastructure while improving educational spaces at three of the district’s schools.
“We feel we have a plan that meets the needs of our students and staff and fulfills the expectations our community has for us in terms of educating their children. Throughout this process we have not strayed from our vision of providing excellence in education and that serves as the backbone for the plan we will be proposing to the board,” Superintendent Craig J. Tice said.
The F-M Board of Education will meet 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11, in the auditorium of Eagle Hill Middle School. During the meeting, the administration plans to outline for the board a proposed project and its associated costs and taxpayer impact. If the board approves the plan, it would then go before voters. Possible vote dates will be part of the discussion during the meeting.
“This proposal will be the culmination of several years of research that has included building infrastructure needs assessments, cost analysis and long-range instructional planning,” Tice said. “We have collected data from our architects and engineers, the state Education Department and our staff and students, who are in our buildings on a near-daily basis. Our students’ families and our community members have been critical partners in this process as we have balanced our vision with their desires while also being cognizant that what we put forth will have a financial impact to the residents of our district.”
The administration is proposing a project of about $42 million, which would make it the largest capital project district residents have ever considered. The projects include work at Enders Road Elementary School, F-M High School and Wellwood Middle School, the three schools identified by architects and engineers as having the greatest needs in a 2015 state required building condition survey. In addition, the administration is proposing projects totaling $3.2 million that would include each of the district’s six schools and generate future energy savings.
“This proposal really meets the most critical needs as identified in the district’s building condition survey,” said William Furlong, F-M’s assistant superintendent for business services. “It addresses basic infrastructure, such as heating, plumbing and electrical components, so we can keep our buildings open and educate our students in an environment that promotes learning.”
To minimize the tax impact, the district is looking at ways to structure future debt so that it comes on as existing debt is paid off. The administration is also proposing that a nearly $10 million capital reserve fund be used to pay for a portion of the project to reduce the amount the district will finance. In addition, portions of the project would also be eligible for state building aid, which would also reduce the local tax impact.
More information about the proposal will be posted online after the board meeting. Got to fmschools.org/facilities to review information to date and mschools.org/letstalk to share facilities feedback with the district.