WHY ARE THESE PROJECTS THE DISTRICT’S TOP PRIORITIES?
Every five years, the district conducts a building condition survey to determine if any facilities have deficiencies that must be corrected to: meet educational program need; address health, safety and security concerns; or generate energy savings. This survey becomes the basis for the district’s long-range facilities plan.
In the most recent survey, several age-related issues were identified in the infrastructure of Cazenovia’s three school buildings.
In drafting the proposal voters will consider Jan. 6, the Board of Education first identified the maximum amount Cazenovia could spend in a capital project without creating a tax levy increase for district residents. That amount is $7.4 million, and district leaders have identified the highest priority repairs and renovations that could be completed within that limit.
HOW CAN A $7.4 MILLION BUILDING PROJECT NOT RAISE TAXES?
Although the total estimated project cost is $7.4 million, the district anticipates 69 percent will be paid for by New York state building aid.
The balance would be funded by a municipal bond issue to be repaid over 15 years, beginning in 2016-17. Because an existing bond issue will be paid off in 2015-16, administrators expect the renovation project to create no tax levy increase for residents, because one bond issue will simply take the place of another.
WHEN WILL THE WORK BE COMPLETED?
Pending voter approval in January, plans and specifications then would be completed by the project architect and submitted to the state Education Department for review and approval. District administrators expect state approval of the project would come in late 2014, and competitive bids for the construction would be sought in early 2015. The work itself then would begin in the summer of 2015 and be completed by September 2016.
WHAT HAPPENS IF BIDS FOR THE PROJECTS ARE MORE OR LESS THAN $7.4 MILLION?
With any bond or annual budget that voters approve, the Board of Education can spend only up to that specific amount. If renovation bids exceed project cost estimates, the district would have to scale back the scope of the work, to stay within the amount approved by voters.
The district has included in the proposal several alternate projects – such as additional paving work, for example – in the event bids are submitted for less than expected.