The third and final phase of Oysterponds Elementary School’s window replacement project will go up for public vote March 1.
During a public hearing Tuesday, Oysterponds Board of Education members said the project’s last phase will cost up to an estimated $600,000, half of which will come from the district’s capital reserve fund, which voters approved in May 2014. The remainder will come from an unassigned fund balance currently available in the district’s general fund, said Superintendent Richard Malone.
Mr. Malone said obtaining the needed funds from these accounts, rather than through a voter-approved bond, prevents taxpayers from having to pay additional money.
“We are doing this in what I consider to be the most cost-effective way of getting the project done,” Mr. Malone said.
During Phase 3, windows will be replaced on the northern and western sides of the school, which includes the art room, intermediate two classroom, library, speech room, publishing center, faculty room and music room.
Two years ago, during Phase 1, windows in the front of the building were replaced. In the second phase, begun at the start of the 2015-16 school year, windows on the western side of the building were updated, Mr. Malone said.
Windows in school psychologist’s office near the gymnasium will not be replaced, as that work was done several years ago, Mr. Malone said.
The school’s old windows leaked during bad weather, created drafts and sometimes got stuck, Mr. Malone said.
“We’re going to be saving a lot of money on heating as well,” board member Linda Goldsmith said, adding that she already feels warmer in rooms where windows have been upgraded.
“Honestly, we started this eight years ago,” Ms. Goldsmith continued. “It’s really just time to do them and be done. And I’m pretty cheap, but I just think it’s necessary. The ones that have been put in so far have been a very good improvement to the school.”
Mr. Malone said the vote will take place in March rather than May so Phase 3 work can be completed before the start of the 2016-17 school year. Because Phase 2 went to a vote last May, work was not finished until the fall, which made things difficult for staff and construction crews, he said.
The public vote will take place Tuesday, March 1, from 2 to 8 p.m. at Oysterponds Elementary School.
Photo: Superintendent Richard Malone, board president Dorothy-Dean Thomas and member Janice Caufield at Tuesday’s public hearing. (Credit: Nicole Smith)