Capital Project 2021

Capital Project 2021

Voters to decide on tax-neutral capital improvement project referendum on Dec. 2

Warwick Valley Central School District residents will see
no tax increase associated with $13.8 million proposal

The Warwick Valley Central School District Board of Education is placing before voters a proposed capital improvement project that has no tax impact on local taxpayers. The vote is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 2.

Vote LogoThe $13.8 million proposal would fund high-need infrastructure improvements at four schools, avoiding the need for costly emergency repairs in the coming years, creating valuable energy savings, and making a healthier and safer learning environment for students and staff. Some of the projects are a new roof at Sanfordville Elementary School, new windows at Park Avenue Elementary, and new unit ventilators at the Middle School and High School. In addition, an expanded multi-sport natural grass athletic field at the stadium, a new track, and block wall outdoor restrooms are among other projects that are planned.

Newsletter cover

Listening to the community
In December 2019, the District presented a capital project referendum to voters that featured two artificial turf sports fields. The District also included several projects recognized as vital to the educational facilities. The community overwhelmingly voted down this proposition.

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The Board of Education recognized the community’s concerns regarding the scope of the previous project, and the District’s Facilities Committee has worked with its engineers and listened to community feedback to propose this revised capital project referendum.

“It was important for the Board to be respectful and to hear the community’s feedback and take the time to plan our next Capital Project properly,” said Board President Keith Parsons. “We believe, based on community feedback, that this is a viable capital project that meets the needs of the District and the community.”

Pragmatic approach to spending

The Board of Education and district leaders are committed to prudent, annual budgeting for operations and not creating an additional tax burden by funding major infrastructure projects through the general budget.

In fact, over the past eight years, the District’s average annual increase in the tax levy has remained under 1.65%. The District finances its capital projects through state building aid, which New York State created to encourage communities to maintain their schools, and its capital reserve fund. The District utilizes this strategy so there is no additional tax impact on local taxpayers.

The District maximizes state tax dollars on capital projects, receiving about 63.8% in state building aid. This means that for every eligible dollar spent on a capital project, the District will receive about 64 cents in building aid from New York State. District officials estimate that $8.8 million of this capital project would be funded by state building aid and $5 million would come from funds set aside in the District’s voter-approved capital reserve.

Capital Project at a Glance Graphic

Slideshow of planned improvements

Take a look at these current images of some of the areas the District has slated for improvement.  

  • Windows at Park Avenue Elementary have reached the end of their useful life and are increasingly difficult to open, creating a safety issue.

Breakdown of projects

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECT BREAKDOWN

The following is a breakdown of costs and major capital project items.

PARK AVENUE ELEMENTARY

NEW WINDOW INSTALLATION $1,500,000

Install energy efficient windows to replace windows that are over 30 years old and difficult to open for improved energy efficiency, and safety.

WATER SYSTEM PROBLEM $25,000

Main water line needs piping repair.

Total Park Avenue Elementary $1,525,000

 

SANFORDVILLE ELEMENTARY

ENTIRE ROOF REPLACEMENT $3,000,000

Replace the 107,000-square-foot roof, which is necessary as repairs are now becoming more frequent and more costly because the roof has reached the end of its useful life and is failing.

EXTERIOR RESTROOMS CONSTRUCTION $325,000

Construct an outdoor block wall restroom building near the athletic fields, playground, and outdoor classroom. The facility will have a total of six stalls, which will be accessible for athletes, spectators, and the community, as well as complement the new outdoor classroom.

Total Sanfordville Elementary $3,325,000

 

MIDDLE SCHOOL

GYM UNIT VENTILATOR (UV) REPLACEMENT $500,000

Replace four unit ventilators, which are very old and ineffective, because it is essential to improve fresh air ventilation and create a healthier breathing environment.

EXTERIOR RESTROOMS CONSTRUCTION $250,000

Construct an outdoor block wall restroom with stalls near the tennis courts. This will be accessible for athletes, spectators, and the community, and complement the new outdoor classrooms.

Total Middle School $750,000

 

HIGH SCHOOL

PARTIAL ROOF REPLACEMENT $1,500,000

Replace 50,000 square feet of foam roofing, which needs constant repair, with a rubber roof.

REPLACE AUDITORIUM AIR HANDLING UNIT (AHU) AND RELOCATE TO ROOF $750,000

Replace and relocate to the roof the air handling unit, which is necessary because it is failing and ineffective, to improve fresh air ventilation and create a healthier breathing environment.

AUDITORIUM SEATING $500,000

Replace all seats in the 1,000-seat auditorium. The seats are severely worn and some have been removed because they are unable to be repaired in a cost-effective way. Replacement parts are difficult to obtain and expensive.

REPLACE FOUR GYM UNIT VENTILATORS (UV) AND RELOCATE TO ROOF $600,000

Replace four old and ineffective unit ventilators in the gym because it is essential to improve fresh air ventilation and create a healthier breathing environment.

CLASSROOM UNIT VENTILATORS (UV) $100,000

Replace old classroom unit ventilators that were not covered with federal stimulus funding.

REPLACE TWO AIR CONDITIONING CHILLER UNITS $500,000

The chiller units are old, failing and need to be replaced.

GUIDANCE UNIT VENTILATORS (UV) REPLACEMENT $250,000

Replace guidance office unit ventilators that were not covered with federal stimulus funding.

TRACK REPLACEMENT AND EXPANSION $450,000

Replace the existing six-lane track, which was built in 1987 and has a failing foundation. The track will be larger to surround the new, larger multi-sport field and will be expanded to eight lanes to allow for larger events.

PLAYING FIELD EXPANSION $522,000

Expand the 160-foot-wide football-only field to create a 185-foot-wide multi-sport, natural grass field that will allow students from other sports teams to play at the stadium at night, under the lights.

FIELD RESTROOMS CONSTRUCTION $425,000

Construct an outdoor block wall restroom facility at the stadium that will have a total of 10 stalls. It will be accessible for students, athletes, spectators and the community, for both games and other events, such as graduation, and complement the new outdoor classrooms. The facility will also feature water fountains with bottle fillers.

TIMERS AND SHELTER PAVILIONS CONSTRUCTION $50,000

Replace old timers and shelter pavilions with new structures in new locations with expansion of field.

STORAGE FACILITY $100,000

Small storage facility to hold athletic equipment and supplies used at the stadium.

ADDITIONAL SITE WORK $125,000

Area paving and concrete pad for recreation area.

FIELD EVENTS AREA $200,000

Relocate field events area to accommodate field expansion.

NEW FENCING $175,000

Install new fencing around the stadium perimeter and field events area.

LED LIGHTING INSTALLATION $228,000

Install LED lighting onto existing poles at field, including additional walking lights for track. Install two smaller poles with LED lighting at the new field event area.

IRRIGATION/WELL/PUMP $150,000

Install well to supply water to restrooms and for irrigation of fields (includes irrigation equipment and well pump).

Total High School $6,625,000

All Schools Total $12,225,000

INCIDENTALS $1,587,154

(13% of the total school projects for architectural fees, testing, contingent costs, and construction management)

GRAND TOTAL $13,812,154


CHECK THIS PAGE REGULARLY FOR MORE UPDATES


Questions & Answers

Q: How can a $13.8 million capital project have no impact on the tax levy?
A; State building aid would pay for 63.8%, or $8.8 million, of the project. This state funding was created to encourage communities to maintain their schools. To pay for the remaining 36.2%, or $5 million, of the project, the District would use the funds set aside over the years in its capital reserve.

Q: Why is the District pursuing this capital project now and holding a special vote in December?
A: By approving a capital project in December, voters are allowing the District to send out a request for bids and begin the work sooner. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) currently has a 40-week or more backlog in approving capital projects after voter approval, so it is important to act now.

Q: How are capital project items chosen?
A: The school board works with the district administrators and engineers and utilizes the building condition survey to identify aging, outdated or energy-inefficient school infrastructure and facilities issues.

Q: Didn’t the District receive federal stimulus money in the summer for capital improvement projects?
A: Funding the District received through the American Rescue Plan Act and Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act during the summer was allocated for projects and programs focused on air quality, ventilation, and learning loss related to the pandemic. This capital project would resolve basic capital improvement needs and address air quality and ventilation issues the District was not able to address with the federal stimulus money.

Q: Can’t the District wait to do these projects?
A: Most of the projects in this referendum were in the last proposal that was voted down in 2019, so we can’t wait any longer. The items are now older and more costly to repair, and the cost of new materials and equipment continues to rise.

Q: Why are we replacing windows at Park Avenue?
A: The windows are more than 30 years old, in poor condition and difficult to operate, creating a safety issue. They are also not energy efficient, making the building difficult to heat and cool.

Q: Why is the cost of each restroom different?
A: The cost of each restroom reflects its size and its location, as well as its resulting infrastructure. For example, the facility at Sanfordville will be near the fields and significantly away from the school building, requiring more excavation. The High School facility will be both larger to handle more people and away from the school, increasing the cost.

Q: Why does the District need to create a new capital reserve fund with Proposition 2?
A: The District has been employing a long-term, tax-neutral project strategy for repairs to its buildings and grounds, so that there is no additional impact on Warwick taxpayers. By creating a new 10-year capital reserve to replace the previous one, we are simply establishing a “savings account” for future capital needs.

Q: Why does the referendum say that the District will raise taxes to pay for the capital project?
A: The District, which is responsible for its debt, is required to word the proposition in that manner because school districts are always obligated to pay their debt.

Q: Why are outdoor restroom facilities necessary?
A: The addition of restrooms near the Sanfordville, High School and Middle School athletic facilities is a matter of convenience, safety and accessibility for students and spectators. At present, participants or visitors of athletic events, physical education classes, graduation ceremonies and other outdoor activities must walk and/or be escorted to the nearest school building to use a restroom. The facilities will also complement the new outdoor classrooms the District is adding with federal stimulus funding.

Q: Why does the multi-purpose field not have a synthetic surface?
A: The Board of Education and District are listening to the community, which voiced its opinion very clearly two years ago when our 2019 capital project proposal, which included artificial fields, was voted down. Our current priority is to take care of very necessary infrastructure projects within our schools. With respect to the stadium, our goal is to expand the football field for use by our other sports teams, who will enjoy the opportunity to play in the stadium.

Q: Can money in the capital reserve be used for any other purpose?
A: No. The capital reserve fund is a savings account for the District, which is established through a referendum previously voted on by the community. The referendum designated that the funds are only to be used for building and other capital improvement projects. The District is legally obligated to fulfill the desire of the community and cannot use these funds for operational costs. The capital reserve fund is part of a strategic plan the District employs to maximize state financial aid for capital improvements with no additional impact on taxpayers.


Voter Information

When can I vote?

Thursday, December 2, 2021 – 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Where do I vote?

POLLING LOCATIONS
DISTRICT 1: Pine Island Firehouse
DISTRICT 2: Dorothy C. Wilson Education Center
DISTRICT 3: Kings School

POLLING LOCATION FINDER
Use our interactive Poll Place Finder tool to find where you should vote. Just put in your address.
Or, contact Jen Bengel, Elections Coordinator, at jbengel@wvcsd.org or call 845-987-3000, ext. 10530

What am I voting on?

PROPOSITION 1
RESOLVED, that the Board of Education of the Warwick Valley Central School District, Orange County, New York, is hereby authorized to reconstruct and construct improvements to various School District buildings and facilities, including, site work, original furnishings, equipment, machinery, apparatus, appurtenances, and incidental improvements and expenses in connection therewith, at a maximum estimated cost of $13,812,154, that $5,000,000 shall be expended from the 2017 capital reserve fund therefor, and that the remaining $8,812,154 or so much thereof as may be necessary, shall be raised by the levy of a tax upon the taxable property of said School District and collected in annual installments as provided by Section 416 of the Education Law, and in anticipation of such tax, obligations of said School District shall be issued.

PROPOSITION 2
RESOLVED, that the Board of Education of the Warwick Valley Central School District, Orange County, New York, is hereby authorized to establish a capital reserve fund pursuant to the provisions of Section 3651 of the Education Law, to be known as the Districtwide Construction and Improvement Reserve Fund 2022, which shall be for the purpose of paying for all or a portion of the costs of renovation, construction, reconstruction and improvements to various School District buildings and facilities, including planning costs and site work, original furnishings, equipment, machinery, apparatus, appurtenances, and site and incidental improvements and expenses in connection therewith, at an ultimate amount of $10,000,000, plus accrued interest and investment earnings, to be transferred from (1) unexpended unassigned appropriations in the general fund at the end of each fiscal year; (2) funds transferred from other existing reserves; and/or (3) legally available funds available to the District, to the Districtwide Construction and Improvement Reserve Fund 2022, for a period of 10 years.

Am I eligible to vote?

VOTER ELIGIBILITY
You are eligible to vote if you are a U.S. citizen, 18-years-old or older, and have been a District resident for at least 30 days prior to the vote date. You must also be registered with either the Orange County Board of Elections or the Warwick Valley Central School District.

VOTER REGISTRATION
Residents can register at the District Office any school day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., through Wednesday, Nov. 24. No appointment is necessary.

Am I registered to vote?

Use our interactive Am I Registered tool to determine if you are registered to vote.

What if I can’t get to the polls to vote?

ABSENTEE BALLOTS
Absentee ballots are available for voters who are unable to vote in person due to illness, physical disability, hospitalization or travel. Applications are required to receive a ballot. To request your ballot application, contact the District Clerk, Susan Laroe at slaroe@wvcsd.org or 845-987-3000, ext. 10511. If you want your ballot mailed to you, your application must be received by Wednesday, Nov. 24. If you plan to pick up an application and ballot in person, you may do so until Wednesday, Dec. 1. Absentee ballots must be received by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 2.


 

Voting Information

Am I Registered?
Use this link to access our Voter Registration Checker. Be sure you are ready to cast your vote on Dec. 2. 

 

Where Do I Vote?
Use this link to access our Polling Place Finder. Know where to go to cast your vote on Dec. 2. 

 

Questions about the Capital Project?
Email your questions to CapitalProject2021@wvcsd.org.

 

Up Next…
A public hearing regarding the Dec. 2 vote will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 18 at the Sanfordville Elementary School Cafetorium.