Officials in the Greenport Union Free School District are one step closer to finalizing a revised Capital Improvement Plan that could go before voters in late October.
District officials reviewed a proposed $18.63 million bond draft with Tetra Tech Architects and Engineers associate Bill Wisbauer Thursday.
However, Superintendent David Gamberg said the details of the plan are subject to change: If the board requests additional time to prepare a draft of the bond, he said, the date of the vote would be set at some point after October.
There’s a “fair amount” of work that still needs to be completed prior to an October vote, he said. The school board must complete a draft of the new ballot measure by the week of Aug. 26. That would be their self-imposed deadline so the state has enough time to review the plan in order to schedule a late October vote. The exact date for a potential revote has not been determined.
If the board decides to include the use of $1 million from the Capital Reserve in the ballot proposition, the total bonded amount will decrease to $17.63 million.
Thursday’s draft was split into four categories: indoor and outdoor infrastructure, educational enhancement, safety and security and athletics.
Board members reviewed the draft and removed three items: a shared bathroom for pre-kindergarten students valued at $106,000, construction of a new main building sign valued at $50,000, and renovations of the existing multipurpose room valued at $64,000.
With roughly $720,000 going toward renovating the existing shop class, board vice president Kirsten Droskoski suggested circling back and including the Porter Marine Program in the Plan.
The Porter Marine Program, tied to the initial $23.8 million bond project district residents rejected in June, is an engineering- and technology-focused initiative that would give students the opportunity to study various marine industry trades. The hands-on program would offer credit-bearing instruction in engine maintenance, boat building, marine manufacturing, dock building, boat supply and shipyard management through apprenticeships and classes taught by local marine businesses.
“Why spend $1 million to refurbish the tech room when we can just add the entire marine tech program for another million?” Ms. Droskoski asked. Board member Sandy Martocchia then suggested the Porter Marine Program appear as a second ballot proposition for voters.
The board also discussed cutting the athletic bleachers and press box, boys and girls lockers, and some items related to converting classroom spaces from the plan.
- Voters reject $23.8M project
- Looking ahead after failed vote
- Discussing pros, cons of Porter Marine Program
Board president Daniel Creedon requested additional information from the architect about the price of making the home economics room compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The room is not wheelchair accessible, Mr. Wisbauer said.
He added that neither of the two entrances of the room could be converted into an ADA compliant space due to minimal room. In order to meet ADA standards, the ramp must be wide enough with a minimal incline to allow for an individual to transport themselves up the slope.
Following the meeting, Mr. Gamberg said when a space is renovated by using capital funds and it’s reviewed by the state, it needs to be made ADA compliant. Some of the equipment in the school has been grandfathered in, meaning at the time it was constructed, it did not need to meet today’s standards.
The new figures in the draft reflect a 6% increase over what was voted on in June, Mr. Gamberg said. The several months of delay in the vote, in addition to the cost of materials, inflation and architectural structuring has spiked the price. If the rejected $23.8 million plan went before voters right now, he said, it would be at $25.8 million.
Ed Whittle, who has lived in the village for over 40 years, said he appreciates the work the board has done. It’s clear that the community is split on the bond based on the vote results, he said. He then asked district officials if there was a new tax assessment as a result of the bond.
Assistant superintendent for business Charles Scheid said the drafted $18 million bond would increase taxes $74.56 per every $1,000 of assessed evaluation.
Board member Babette Cornine was not present and board member Kimberly Moore Swann excused herself during the meeting.
The board will hold one additional work session to discuss the bond project Wednesday, Aug. 21, at 5 p.m.