Schoharie’s capital repair and renovation project was approved by the district’s voters in May 2017 to both address needed repairs to school buildings and align them with the educational needs of students today and into the future.
With more than 83 percent of the $19.8 million capital project covered by state building aid, and with the establishment of a capital reserve fund, SCS will be able to accomplish such goals with minimal impact on taxpayers.
Since March 2016, a facilities planning committee has been meeting to examine how to ensure SCS school facilities 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, SCS school board members, district administrators, faculty and staff. New members are welcome. Contact the superintendent’s office if you are interested in participating.
The district is awaiting approval of the next phase of the capital project by the State Education Department. Once that approval is received, the bidding process will begin, hopefully before the end of the year.
Security improvements to the elementary, high school and district office areas include a new badge and visitor identification system. All visitors entering main offices are asked for a government ID (driver’s license or permit, military ID, etc.) to insert into the badge system.
The system scans the ID and searches local and government databases, including the sex offender registry. Office staff can view scan results before approving the creation of a dated visitor ID badge.
Phase one of the project is proceeding well. In the elementary school, the fire alarm system has been updated and upgraded, including its electrical panels and main controls, bells and strobe lights.
Plumbing upgrades to the SCS campus include preparation for a new water main and related valve work, and wiring updates for sump pumps for ground water control in the elementary school.
In the high school, two state-of-the-art, energy-efficient boilers and related piping have been installed, replacing boilers that were prone to breakdown and beyond safe repair.
Work has also begun on in the high school basement, where a new hallway will span the length of the original building.
In both schools, the public address and security systems are also being upgraded. A new Voice Over Internet Protocol phone system connects the entire campus with an enhanced emergency call system, in addition to providing needed technological updates.
Asbestos abatement related to phase one has been safely completed, on time and under budget.
Plans for phase two of the project are being submitted to the State Education Department for approval, with work expected to begin this winter.
June & July 2018:
Phase one is underway, including work on the elementary public address and fire systems and installation of a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) phone system to serve the district.
The Board of Education has approved and the district has awarded bids for capital project work, with phase one to start this summer. At the elementary school, improvements will be made to the public address and fire alarm systems and work will begin on a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) phone system.
The State Education Department has approved the district’s capital project design. Phase one is expected to begin this summer, and bids are being accepted for the work. A special meeting of the Board of Education will be held Thursday, March 22, at 6 p.m. in the high school library classroom to approve bids for the capital project.
High School needs
A building condition study conducted by independent architectural experts found that many of the building systems in the original 90-year-old portion of Schoharie Jr./Sr. High School are nearing the end of their useful life. Yet the school has “good bones” structurally and has been well maintained by district staff throughout the years. The capital project will focus on repairing, upgrading and updating the high school.
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.
- Leaky and energy-wasting windows.
- Classrooms that are too small and not meeting minimum space requirements.
- Exposed pipes and fittings, that are no longer used, in classrooms and other areas.
- Poorly located, crumbling and outdated bathrooms.
- Instructional, practice and performance spaces that are inadequate in terms of size, technology and location.
- Outdated and inefficient heating and ventilation systems that compromise student and staff comfort and increase costs.
- Cracked and settling floors.
- 80-year-old wiring and aging electrical systems.
- Failing boilers for which parts are no longer available.
Elementary School needs
The district also has identified areas needing updates and repairs in Schoharie Elementary School, including the:
- Heating and ventilation system.
- Public address system.