GESD plans $32.5M capital project

GLOVERSVILLE — The Gloversville Enlarged School District Board of Education on Wednesday approved several resolutions setting a public referendum on a $32.5 million proposed capital project for Dec. 15.

The district throughout the year has worked to develop capital project plans aimed at improving safety, the condition of facilities and functionality across district buildings. The Board of Education contracted CSArch in February to plan the capital project. The architecture and design firm over the summer completed a building condition survey and developed and evaluated concepts to address identified needs.

Recommended projects were presented to the district in September and the board during the Oct. 5 meeting awarded a contract to Turner Construction to provide pre-referendum services to develop an estimate for the proposed scope of work, provide logistical planning support and other planning services.

Following that meeting the district planned to work with its financial advisors and project developers to finalize details to tailor the proposed scope of work to ensure proposed capital project costs can be covered by state building aid without any anticipated tax impact and to complete any other necessary actions in time to send the project out to referendum in December.

The Board of Education during a special meeting Wednesday approved several resolutions necessary to set the capital project for public referendum this year.

Among the board approved resolutions was a declaration that the capital project as proposed will have not have any significant environmental impact under State Environmental Quality Review and a resolution specifying the necessity of the project to reconstruct district facilities, acquire equipment and furnishings and to pay related incidental expenses.

Also approved by the board was a bond resolution authorizing the district to borrow up to $32.5 million to fund the capital project subject to approval by district voters, as well as the proposition that will be presented in a public referendum set for Dec. 15 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Although the proposition voters will consider asks if the bond resolution adopted by the board should be approved with any necessary taxes to be levied in future years to pay interest on the debt, the bond resolution adopted by the board notes that the district plans to finance the project through state building aid and Superintendent David Halloran has repeatedly stated throughout the planning process that any project put before voters would have no anticipated impact on district taxpayers.

All registered voters within the school district will be eligible to vote in the public referendum at their designated polling site located at Gloversville High School or Bleecker Town Hall based on area of residence. Approval by a 60 percent super majority in the public vote will be required to allow the district to move forward with the capital project.

Among the work planned for inclusion in the project is the full remediation of the playing field at Kingsborough Elementary School in accordance with any requirements of the Department of Environmental Conservation and other involved agencies to clear the recently capped site of any remaining tannery waste for the construction of a bus loop and parking lot to address safety concerns posed by the existing student drop-off location at the front of the school.

Existing traffic patterns at Gloversville High School would be similarly reconfigured to improve safety during student arrivals and departures and secure vestibules would be installed at all district buildings and the district administrative office to allow visitors to be buzzed into a secure area inside of the entrance for screening through the district’s visitor management system before they are fully admitted inside of district buildings.

The replacement of sections of roofs at several school buildings is called for with the goal of replacing all district building roofs over the course of several future capital projects to create a cushion of time between the expiration dates on roof warranties to mitigate risk of widespread failure of building roofs after warranties expire.

Also proposed are renovations to the corridors of Gloversville High School to continue updates to the building’s interior that were started in the main hall during the last capital project, replacement of playground equipment at Boulevard Elementary School to mitigate problems with vandalism and other misconduct on the site where present equipment creates visibility issues and the repaving of the access road at the district transportation facility.

Additionally, the center of the sixth and seventh grade wings at Gloversville Middle School would be redesigned to make use of the existing open space and carpeting in the middle school auditorium would be replaced.

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