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WVCSD board adopts resolution for $14.9 million capital project

on October 30, 2019

If approved by voters, the project would present no additional tax increase to the community.

The Warwick Valley Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution for a proposed $14.9 million capital project that will be presented to the public for a vote on Wednesday, Dec. 18. 

The resolution, approved during the Board’s Oct. 21 meeting, gives residents the opportunity to vote on a long-discussed capital project that would replace two of the district’s outdoor athletic fields with a multi-purpose turf field, build an outdoor bathroom facility, expand the track and address critical infrastructure needs at the high and elementary schools.

The proposed project will enhance the district’s outdoor facilities and high school auditorium in addition to addressing priority needs that were identified on the district’s 2015 building condition survey.

There are no additional taxes tied to this project. State aid would cover about 64 percent of the total cost of the work, with the remaining 36 percent coming from district reserve funds. 

 “This proposal is the culmination of several years of research involving building infrastructure needs assessments, cost analysis, long-range planning and community feedback,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. David Leach said. “It’s essential for our community to have a voice in defining the future of our schools, and we appreciate their drive in sharing their feedback. The conversations that have taken place have made evident what a great community we have.”

The vote followed public comment from over 150 parents and community members who offered a variety of opinions about the project’s merits. 

Brian Perez, a community member and parent, spoke in support of the project, said that today’s student-athletes find grass fields to be outdated and are continually frustrated when rainy afternoons force them to practice on parking lots.

His sentiments were echoed by another parent, Jon Mears, who recalled a time when a college lacrosse recruiter questioned the practicality of the grass field.

Also in support of the project, Kim Brady and Ron Introini suggested that top-notch students deserved top-notch facilities and the chance to play on a state-of-the-art field under the lights would be a memory they’d never forget. 

Those who expressed apprehension toward the project included local sod farmers, Leonard and Gregory DeBuck, who spoke in support of natural grass and posited whether the district could improve its current grass fields rather than install an artificial field. 

“While opinions varied at the meeting, it was clear the comment thread was that everyone had Warwick Valley students in mind,” Board President Sharon Davis said. “Their parallel interest was making sure that the board allowed the public to make the final decision. We [the board] feel this is an important capital improvement project which would offer long-term benefits to both our students and the community, and we look forward to the community’s decision.”     

Vote Details/More Information

The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 18 at the following polling locations: 

  • Pine Island Firehouse, 684 County Route One, Pine Island
  • Dorothy C. Wilson Education Center, 225 West Street Extension, Warwick 
  • Kings Elementary School, (199 Kings Highway, Warwick) 

Additional information about the project’s scope  and voter registration will be shared on the district’s website and mailed to residents in a December newsletter.

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