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2019-20 Capital Project Proposal

Voters to decide on capital improvement project Dec. 18

No tax increase associated with $14.9 million proposal

Voters of the Warwick Valley Central School District will decide on a proposed $14.9 million capital improvement project on Wednesday,
Dec. 18.

The proposal carries no additional tax burden for residents and would fund high-need projects prioritized by the Board of Education, including infrastructure improvements at three of the District’s schools, the renovation of the High School auditorium and the modernization of athletic facilities.

No additional tax impact

From the early stages of research and planning for the proposed capital project, the Board of Education and district leaders were committed to preventing any additional tax burden on residents.

If approved, district officials estimate that 63.8 percent, or $9.5 million, of the project would be funded by state building aid which was established to encourage communities to maintain their schools. To pay for the remaining 36.2 percent, or $5.4 million, of the proposed project, the District would use funds set aside in its capital reserve.

“This building proposal represents months of rigorous deliberation by our Board of Education and facilities committee, as well as ongoing feedback from parents, students and staff,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. David Leach. “As school leaders and educators, we are pleased to propose a plan that is visionary for our students and community, and mindful of our taxpayers.”

If approved by voters, the proposed work would begin in the fall of 2020.

Referendum at a Glance

  • Proposed project total: $14,900,000
  • Impact on local property tax: $0
  • Portion paid by state: 63.8% or $9.5 million
  • Portion paid by capital reserve funds: 36.2% or $5.4 million

VOTER AND POLLING INFORMATION (link)

Capital Project highlights

Infrastructure projects at elementary schools and high school

Sanfordville Elementary School: Replacement of 20-year old AC/chiller and boiler with more energy-efficient units.

Park Avenue Elementary School: Replacement of windows for increased energy efficiency and ease of operation and the renovation of the media center.

Warwick Valley High School: Replacement of foam roofing with built-up roofing and replacement of two 20-year old AC/chillers with more energy-efficient units. 

Two Actors performing on a stage. Set is a starry night, and a bench on a mound of snow. One actor is looking up at the sky. The other is picking up rocks off the floor and placing them in a bag.

High School auditorium renovation

The auditorium serves as a performing arts venue for all four schools staging dramas and musicals, as well as concerts. It’s also used for large group instruction, school assemblies, ceremonies for elementary and middle school grades, inductions and awards, many of which are open to families and community members.

In spite of its frequent and varied usage, the auditorium has seen no substantial upgrades in nearly 20 years and presents the following challenges:

  • Seating is showing signs of wear and tear, including missing bottom covers and worn, obsolete hardware.

    Seating in the auditorium is showing signs of wear and tear including missing bottom covers and worn, obsolete hardware.

  • Drama clubs and music departments have struggled with inadequate and outdated lighting, as well as a sound system that limits creativity and prevents the integration of new technologies.
  • The stage’s masonite and wood floors have deteriorated in multiple areas.
  • A loud overhead heating and cooling unit interferes with reception of performances and is often turned off resulting in uncomfortable conditions for performers and audiences alike.
  • Walls exhibit peeling paint, cracking seams, and water damage.

To address these ongoing issues and bring the venue up-to-date, the District proposes the installation of new seating; upgrades to the sound system; the installation of contemporary, more efficient and flexible lighting; the replacement and relocation of the HVAC unit; the replacement of the stage’s masonite floor and repairs to the wood floor; upgrades to the electrical and mechanical infrastructure; and a fresh coat of paint throughout.

Athletic facilities

The primary reason for the proposed replacement of the High School’s football grass field with a synthetic turf surface is its multi-sport use. Currently, the natural grass field on the main campus can only be used for home football games. If other sports teams were to use the field, it would become damaged, muddy and unsafe. A multi-purpose field that is lined for football, soccer and lacrosse would have the year-round capability to serve more of our student athletic teams and afford use by community sports programs.

However, one turf field cannot accommodate all practices and competitions for varsity, junior varsity and modified sports in district or host concurrent sports events. Therefore the District is proposing the replacement of the natural grass lower field at Sanfordville Elementary — known as practice field — with a multi-purpose, synthetic turf field lined for soccer, lacrosse and softball.

The proposed project would replace the High School’s 6-lane track (built in 1987) with an 8-lane track and the adjacent installation of steeplechase, pole vault, triple jump, and high jump facilities.

The proposal also calls for the installation of accessible outdoor restroom facilities at both sites.

Why turf? 

Inclement weather reduces the use of the grass football field to four games a year, and other sports programs are unable to practice on the field without causing damage to the grass surface. Turf fields are multi-purpose, built for heavy usage, and impervious to weather. They are usable year round, and easy and inexpensive to maintain. Multi-purpose turf facilities would also attract more sports events and regional tournaments to Warwick and generate new economic opportunities for local businesses. 

PROPOSED PROJECT WORK AND COSTS (link)

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS (link)