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District News: Capital Project

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Good bones, good care and a good future:
Schoharie's capital repair and renovation project

 

Project updates

Aug. 23, 2017:

The Board of Education has named Schoolhouse Construction Services, LLC of Delhi as construction manager for the capital project. A construction manager works on behalf of a school district, overseeing the project and working with the architect and construction firms from start through completion. The goal is to ensure the project meets specifications, requirements and regulations, budget and cost targets and timelines while also minimizing disruptions at the school.

 

July 26, 2017: The district is currently completing the design phase of the capital project. The architects worked very closely with teachers and administration before school let out for the summer.

The architects sought feedback from stakeholders including office staff, teachers, administrators and department chairs as they presented their initial design. They will be presenting us with further drafts of the design in the next few weeks. The final design will go to the State Education Department this fall.

The approval process

Since district voters approved the capital project in May 2017, Schoharie's facilities planning committee has continued to meet and is working with architects to develop renovation and reconstruction plans for submission to the State Education Department (SED).

SED must approve all project plans before work can begin; this process can take six to eight months or longer. Once plans are approved, the district will be able to consider bids on the project.

Work is expected to begin in 2018 to upgrade the heating and ventilation systems and public address system in the elementary school and replace high school boilers. Work on the high school is expected to begin in 2019, pending SED approvals.

 

Capital Project Q & A

Why do we need a capital repair and renovation project?

Just as Schoharie Central School District is dedicated to preparing its students for a successful future, it also invests considerable time and energy into caring for the buildings and classrooms in which they learn.

As times and the needs of students change, so must their learning environment.

A building condition study commissioned by the district and conducted by independent architectural experts found that Schoharie Jr./Sr. High School is aging, with many of the building systems in the original 90-year-old portion of the school nearing the end of their useful life.

Yet the high school has "good bones" structurally and has been well maintained by district staff throughout the years, and so Schoharie is looking at ways the building can be safely repaired, upgraded and updated.

The district also has identified areas needing updates and repairs in Schoharie Elementary School, including the heating and ventilation system and public address system.

 

What about the financial impact?

The project can be accomplished with minimal financial impact on district residents - around a total amount of $10 per year. More than 83 percent of the cost would be covered by state building aid. The local share of the cost would be covered by a Capital Project Reserve Fund, subject to voter approval on May 16, that would be drawn from the district’s available fund balance, at an amount not to exceed $2.5 million.

 

Why are changes needed? What areas need attention?

Daily wear and tear and the aging of the school building and its systems have taken their toll beyond what can be remedied through routine maintenance and repair. At the same time, technology and space requirements for today's learners are vastly different from the past.

A capital project will also improve the movement of students on campus through renovation and reorganization of existing instructional, entry, office and community spaces.

Areas needing attention include:

Crumbling exterior building structure, including window sills, mortar and roof parapets, that sometimes fall to the ground, creating a potential hazard for injury to people below them.

SCS capital repairs and renovations        SCS capital repairs and renovations

SCS capital repairs and renovations       SCS capital repairs and renovations

Cap Project crumbling window sill at Schoharie HS

     

Leaky and energy-wasting windows

SCS capital repairs and renovations     SCS capital repairs and renovations

 

Classrooms that are too small and not meeting minimum space requirements

 SCS capital repairs and renovations

 

Exposed pipes and fittings, that are no longer used, in classrooms and other areas

SCS capital repairs and renovations

 

Poorly located, crumbling and outdated bathrooms

SCS capital repairs and renovations    SCS capital repairs and renovations

 

Instructional, practice and performance spaces that are inadequate in terms of size, technology and location.

SCS capital repairs and renovations

 

Outdated and inefficient heating and ventilation systems that compromise student and staff comfort and increase costs

SCS capital repairs and renovations

 

Cracked and settling floors

SCS capital repairs and renovations

SCS capital repairs and renovations

 

Also:

- 80-year-old wiring and aging electrical systems

- Failing boilers for which parts are no longer available

 

What did we vote on in May 2017?

Schoharie Central School District residents voted on May 16, 2017 (school budget vote day) to approve a proposition for a $19,875,000 capital project. A majority of the project cost - more than 83 percent - would be covered by state aid.

 Voters also approved a proposition to establish a capital project reserve fund to cover the local cost of the capital project. The capital reserve fund will be drawn from the district’s available fund balance, at an amount not to exceed $2.5 million.

 

Is the community involved?

Yes. Since March 2016, a facilities planning committee has been meeting to examine how to ensure the Jr./Sr. High School can continue to meet 21st century learning needs. The committee's membership includes local community members and civic leaders, architectural and construction experts, first responders, parents and family members, Schoharie school board members, and district administrators faculty and staff.

New members are welcome. Contact the superintendent's office if you are interested in participating.

 

Can I take a closer look?

District residents are encouraged to take a closer look at the proposed repairs and renovations. Display boards are located throughout the school, and residents are encouraged to ask questions and provide comments. Contact the superintendent's office with questions or to arrange a tour.

 

 

Past media coverage

Daily Gazette reports on building project

Superintendent Blanchard discussed the proposed capital project with the Daily Gazette. READ THE ARTICLE

Times Journal reports on building project

The Times Journal covered a Board of Education discussion of the proposed capital project in the Feb. 22, 2017 issue.

The Times Journal talked about the upcoming forum and the proposed project in their Jan. 11, 2017 issue.

The Times Journal covered a Board of Education discussion of the proposed capital project in-depth in the Dec. 13, 2016 issue.

(Note: subscription may be required to view full articles in newspapers.)

 

 

[8/2017]

 

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