LATHAM— Residents voted down a $196.4 million capital project that would provide additions or upgrades to most buildings in the North Colonie Central School District.
A vote was held on Thursday, Dec. 15 on the project at the district offices at Fiddlers Lane in Latham. Though school officials went into the vote confident, ultimately, the project was voted down 2,189 to 1,842. The vote resulted in a 30-year record voter turnout dating back to 1986, according to a press release.
“The voters of the North Colonie Central School District have spoken,” Superintendent Joseph Corr said in a statement. “We must now take their feedback and modify and adjust our proposed project accordingly. We will be tabulating the results of an exit survey to help provide guidance in the next steps of this process. The fact is, the district still has a very real enrollment increase that must be addressed immediately and expeditiously in order to maximize our state aid and reduce the impact on the local taxpayer. According to election law, the earliest the district can hold its next vote is in 90 days.”
One of the driving forces behind the capital project was an estimated increase of almost 1,000 students into the district over the next decade. North Colonie has, since the summer been emphasizing the urgency of the project, due to the fact that the district is at risk of losing state financial aid on the project if it does not have a general contract for the project signed by June 30, 2018.