The Guilderland Board of Education recently heard the district’s Facilities Committee unveil proposed capital projects totaling almost $18.2 million. If pursued, the spending would require voter approval.
The first recommendation totaled more than $17.3 million and included building infrastructure renovations, safety and security improvements and instructional technology upgrades. The second recommendation of around $845,000 tackled high school auditorium renovations and replacing the high school football field light pole.
Both recommendations as proposed would be presented to voters in separate referendums. The district “conservatively” estimated around 90 percent of proposed project costs would be eligible for state building aid reimbursement of up to nearly 65 percent.
District Superintendent Marie Wiles said the committee worked throughout most of the spring with architects to develop its next capital project.
“The multiple perspectives that were around that table brought us to a place where we have an excellent product,” Wiles said at the board’s July 2 meeting. “Our mission talks about inspiring children to be able to be lifelong learners and to succeed in a global economy and this kind of work makes our efforts towards achieving that mission ever more possible.”
Wiles said while students must have an environment conducive to learning, the district’s “most important” responsibility is to keep children safe during school.
The first and larger proposition would result in an annual tax increase of $65 for a home in the Town of Guilderland assessed at $246,500, the median value. The second proposition would likewise result in an annual tax increase of $3 to the same home.
Wiles stressed the presentation was only a starting point of board members discussing the project.
Assistant Superintendent for Business Neil Sanders said critical areas of need include replacing building components that are creating safety concerns, near the end of useful life or are a “detriment to the efficient and economical operating of the building.”
Security concerns largely focus on controlling visitor access to buildings and securing classrooms from being accessed by intruders, Sanders said. Technology concerns focus on creating or improving wireless Internet access at all school buildings.
Some of the most expensive recommendations include replacing roofs at various buildings for around $4.7 million, paving parking lots for more than $2 million, replacing boilers and controls for almost $1.2 million and nearly $1 million for replacing building floors.
The second proposition focusing on the high school was broken out for being dissimilar from other projects.
“After a lot of discussion, two items where we felt that it didn’t quite fit the same model as what we were talking about … are being split out,” Sanders said.
Board members are scheduled to review and discuss the projects and adopt a bond resolution on Oct. 1. The referendums are scheduled to be presented to voters on Nov. 19. If approved, project design and development would begin, with the state Education Department reviewing the projects from July to December 2014.
The first phase of construction is projected to begin in April of 2015, with the second phase starting in September of 2016.