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December 6 Capital Project Vote

Community to consider $5.6 million in capital improvements

[Return to Dec. 6 Capital Project Main Page]


On Tuesday, Dec. 6, voters will head to the polls to decide on $5,614,000 in capital improvements that focus on health, safety and infrastructure projects identified in last year's Building Condition Survey. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Niskayuna High School that day.

The proposal is timed with the retirement of existing debt, and it carries no projected tax increase.

If voters approve the proposal, the district would address priority work identified in the Building Condition Survey, including:
  • Roof replacements at Birchwood and Craig elementary schools and Van Antwerp Middle School;
  • Replacing electrical panels at seven schools and heating, ventilation and air conditioning controls in three; and
  • Installing new fire suppression systems in the Rosendale and Iroquois kitchens.
A phased approach to improvements
If residents support the proposal in the December vote, school officials anticipate that the necessary State Education Department approval can be obtained in time to complete some of the work in summer 2017. This would include replacing the roof at Van Antwerp, which leaks regularly when there are rain storms, and targeted roof structure repairs at the Hillside Avenue bus garage.

The remainder of the work would be slated for the summer of 2018. A complete list of proposed projects is available here.


A longer-term, strategic approach
The proposal is based on the Building Condition Survey that was completed by district architects this past March. This survey assesses the condition of all district buildings, systems and grounds and their expected useful life.

The goal of the December proposal is to address as many priority facilities needs as possible while minimizing the tax impact. The Board's facilities plan calls for this initial work to be followed by a comprehensive planning process that combines outstanding needs identified in the survey with facilities changes driven by ongoing academic program planning.

"The district did finish a major capital project in the last decade, but as the Building Condition Survey showed, it was not possible to address all facilities needs at that time and key systems have continued to age," Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra, Jr. "Our plans call for regular attention to facilities in an effort to maintain our schools and adapt to program changes with the greatest possible stability for taxpayers."

Two significant academic planning initiatives are embedded in the strategic plan the Board developed last year: the program review process featured in this newsletter and the Instructional Program Advisory Council, or IPAC, which is charged with developing a vision for the future of a Niskayuna education.

IPAC is comprised of parents, community members, teachers, and administrators, including representatives of business, industry and higher education. The group began meeting in June 2016.