Potential Capital Project


Maintaining Our Facilities

The Facilities Committee of the Salem Central School District has worked with district architects, Mosaic Associates, on addressing needs identified in the district’s Building Condition Survey. New York State school districts are required to conduct Building Condition Surveys every five years to ensure that taxpayers’ investment in educational facilities are maintained. The most recent report for Salem CSD was completed two years ago.

“That report told us that many of our systems, such as our heating, security, and fire alarm systems are in need of repair. These are all vitally important to the health, welfare, and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and everyone who visits our campus,” said David Glover, Superintendent of Schools.

Upon collecting information, researching options, and balancing district priorities, the Salem Board of Education passed a resolution to bring forward a Capital Improvement Project for residents to consider. On Tuesday, March 27, 2018, residents of the Salem Central School District will vote on a $21.3 million Capital Improvement Project to fix infrastructure problems and improve safety concerns.

“For the past 80 years, the school has been a point of pride for the community. Many items in need of repair are ones you don’t necessarily see at first glance, but are needed in order to keep the building healthy. We’d like to preserve and maintain the integrity of this building for another 80 years,” said Glover. “We want to ensure that all items on our list lead back to the original dedication of the building: the training of our youth and the welfare of our people.”

Safety and well-being of students and staff is of upmost importance and in order to provide emergency communications that meet the highest standards of efficiency, the current fire alarm systems, public address systems, master clock systems, phone systems, emergency lighting, and exit signs will be updated and replaced. Administrative offices will be reconfigured to ensure that there is an administrator at each entry point of the campus. This reconfiguring will provide additional surveillance at each wing of both the primary and high school buildings. A network operating center will also be installed (see page 3 for map and details.) Additional safety measures include improved ventilation systems in classrooms and the auditorium, installation of vehicle carbon monoxide exhaust system in the bus garage and exhaust to the chemical storage room, and installation of impact safety film over non-tempered glass throughout the campus.

A major portion of the proposed capital project addresses the different heating systems in the facility. “The current hot water and steam systems have outlived their useful lives. We would like to replace the two heating systems with one that is more efficient and in turn more fiscally responsible to operate and maintain,” said Superintendent Glover.

In addition to maintenance and safety improvements, the proposed capital project will bring key areas into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA.) Restrooms in both the primary school building and the middle/high school building, the nurse’s room, the wooden bleachers in the gym, pavement near the playground as well as the outdoor bleachers, need to be retrofitted to ensure that people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate. 

Click Here To See Other Proposed Items In Need Of Repair


Examining The Cost

Salem Central School District has not brought a similar project to vote since the year 1998. The proposed items are pertinent based on frequency of project needs, urgency of safety concerns and costs.  By scheduling the new debt service payments to coincide with retiring debt service payments, the net local share of the project will result in minimal additional tax impact.

Frequency: 

The last similar project approved by the community was in 1998. Since then, with the exception of an energy project in 2010 and one smaller project in 2012, there has not been a Capital Improvement Project to address the various needs in the district. This is reflected in the size of the potential project. Looking forward, we aim to maintain a regular frequency of projects, based on our building condition survey, to maximize tax and aid dollars while being the best caretakers possible of Salem Central.

Urgency:

A number of the items in this project relate to the well-being of the building and the health and safety of staff and students. Security systems, fire alarm systems, and heating systems are paramount to operating a safe, functional school building. In addition, student-focused areas like the playground and the student locker rooms are in need of repair or replacement.

Cost:

The scope of the potential Capital Improvement Project surpasses our regular maintenance capacity. Working on essential maintenance items through a capital project allows our district to take advantage of our 80.1% aid ratio, and enables us to hire the help we need to address these larger issues. 


Should The Community Vote Yes, When Will The Project Completed? 

The anticipated timeline for the project is listed below. Our goal in this project is to not interfere with the well-being of students and staff and to ensure that building and maintenance does not interfere with our student's education. Construction will be heavily focused outside of school hours and during summer breaks. 

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How Does This Project Impact My Taxes? 

The proposed $21.3 million will not solely be on the shoulders of the local community. Working on essential maintenance items through a capital project allows our district to take advantage of our 80.1% aid ratio and enables us to hire the help we need to address these larger issues. When taking in consideration of the 80.1% state aid, as well as our fund balance, the community local share is brought down to $1.7 million, or 8% of the total cost. Please take a look at the charts below which explain the estimated tax impact this vote could have on you. 

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What Will I Be Asked On Voting Day?

Below is the verbiage that will be on the ballots. Take a look and let us know if you have any questions! 

Proposition I – 2018 Capital Project

Shall the Board of Education be authorized to (a) increase the maximum funding level of the Capital Reserve Fund to an amount not to exceed $1,029,815, with such Capital Reserve Fund being funded with a transfer from the Repair Reserve Fund and interest earnings; (b) construct additions to and reconstruct School District buildings, including necessary site work, acquire original furnishings, equipment, machinery or apparatus, at a maximum cost of $21,307,991; (c) expend such sum for such purpose; (d) expend $1,475,000 of unappropriated funds and $1,029,815 from the Capital Reserve Fund; (d) levy the necessary tax therefore (including the interest due on any School District obligations) to be collected in annual installments, taking into account State aid received and the amounts expended from unappropriated funds and the Capital Reserve Fund; and issue School District obligations in anticipation thereof in an amount not to exceed $18,803,176?

Proposition 2 – EPC Project

Shall the Board of Education of the Salem Central School District be authorized to: (a) reconstruct the School District buildings, including lighting, heating and other energy efficient upgrades (the “Energy Project”) at a maximum cost of not to exceed $963,969; and (b) enter into an energy performance contract to finance the cost of the Energy Project? 



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