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Superintendent's Message: Capital Project Vote Is Dec. 10

Every building, like your home or business, requires regular upkeep and our schools are no different.

During the last several months, the Phelps-Clifton Springs Central School District has conducted an extensive review of our Building Condition Survey, a detailed analysis of district facilities required by the New York State Education Department. To assist in the facilities planning process, the District hired Rochester-based Edge Architecture.

»MORE: Facilities Updates

A Facilities Committee comprised of community members, faculty, staff, Board of Education members and school administrators was established to help prioritize the areas needing the most immediate attention. While the District hopes to complete additional capital projects in the future, it was important to gather input on how to make the best use of state aid and local capital reserves available for this first project.

The committee met several times, toured areas of the campus, and brought additional perspectives to our planning. The District held a public meeting in June to gather feedback and answer questions. Board of Education meetings in October included additional information and feedback.

Based on those efforts, a $15.6 million capital project will be presented to voters for approval on Tuesday, Dec. 10. The project focuses on four key areas:

• Students: Improving the spaces used by students.

• Safety: Upgrading technology and items that provide a more secure campus.

• Systems: Updating and improving heating, electrical, and plumbing systems.

• Site: Repairing athletic fields, renovating the bus garage, adding a new fueling station, and other site work.

Music, culinary arts, a cafeteria, and a woodshop in the secondary building will be renovated to meet the changing needs of valuable academic programs and provide better and safer work areas.

For example, the relocation of the 7th- and 8th-grade cafeteria closer to the kitchen and serving lines in the 9th-12th grade cafeteria will improve the daily experience of our students. This change will provide the opportunity to redesign and upgrade our band, chorus, and general music rooms located between the two cafeterias.

Student bathrooms will be updated and redesigned to meet current standards. Asbestos abatement, where needed, and upgrades to the heating and cooling systems will also be made.

Traffic flow and crowded parking at the Elementary School will be addressed by adding a new staff parking lot on the west side of the school along with design improvements for the student drop-off area. Increased parking in the main lot will also make it easier for visitors to access the building.

A new on-campus fueling station will increase the District’s independence and improve daily operations. Additional work will be completed at our transportation facility to ensure its value and utility for years to come.

Repairs will be made to the football/ lacrosse field, where a “crown” has developed that slopes significantly from the center of the field to the sidelines. The crown has compromised the integrity of the playing surface while causing drainage issues. The leveling and resurfacing of the field and the planting of new grass will improve the safety and playing experience of our student-athletes.

This project results in no additional tax increase to property owners. State aid will fund approximately 78 percent of the project. District reserve funds will pay for the remaining costs.

In a separate but related effort, the District is submitting an application to use its approximately $1.7 million allocation through the state’s Smart Schools Bond Act. These funds, which have already been designated to Midlakes by New York State, will allow us to make needed security enhancements to our schools, improve our computer networks, and more. The work associated with these enhancements will be coordinated as part of the capital project, but the funds will be provided through the Smart School Bond Act.

The Board of Education has planned a final presentation on the capital project during its November 18 meeting, but we will continue to provide details of the project with the community on our website, through social media, district newsletters, and elsewhere.

We believe this project addresses our most critical needs to ensure the integrity and longevity of our facilities, improves programs and opportunities for students, and maintains our fiscal responsibility to our community.

On behalf of the Board of Education, Facilities Committee, administration, faculty, staff, and students of Midlakes schools, thank you for your support.