Capital projects OK'd in B-PCSD


Recorder News Staff

BROADALBIN -- On Tuesday, voters in the Broadalbin-Perth Central School District overwhelmingly authorized the Board of Education to move forward with a $2.155 million capital project.

The measure passed by a vote of 328 to 97.

"I'm very excited," Broadalbin-Perth Superintendent Stephen Tomlinson said Tuesday night. "I'm very excited for the kids and for the staff.

"This is going to allow us to put some really exciting technology in the hands of our students and in the hands of our staff."

Funds from the bond approved by voters in Tuesday's referendum will be used to replace portions of the roofs at both campuses, complete technology infrastructure upgrades and purchase additional land adjacent to the Perth site to address future parking needs.

Specifically, approximately $1.65 million will be used to replace the roof over the high school cafeteria, as well as English, math, social studies and foreign language classrooms, originally built in 1934. The roof over the main building at the Perth site, which was originally built in 1931 and houses the majority of the district's middle school classrooms, will also be repaired.

Both roof sections were last replaced in 1995.

Another $450,000 of the capital project funds will be used to upgrade the district's technology infrastructure, including the Internet, phone and portions of the security system, as well as to install approximately 120 wireless Internet access points throughout the district's buildings and replace the majority of the existing core infrastructure.

The remaining funds will go toward the purchase of approximately 40 acres of land adjacent to the Perth site to be used for the future expansion of the parking lot. That land is available to the district at a cost of approximately $65,000.

The technology upgrades have been said to be especially critical given the district's recent receipt of nearly $1 million in State Management Efficiency and Virtual Advanced Placement grants.

They will be necessary to fully implement the virtual classes and make the best use of the classroom technology the district plans to purchase with some of the funds.

"I am really appreciative of the community for continuing to support what we do here in the district," Tomlinson said.

The scope of the project that was presented to voters in Tuesday's referendum is significantly smaller than the possibilities that were originally explored by the community advisory committee convened by the district last year to identify the most critical issues. All tolled, more than $30 million in projects had been identified and considered.

The scope was eventually narrowed to include only the most critical projects that could be completed without requiring an increase in district taxes.

The entire project is expected to have no impact on the district's tax levy.

With state building aid reimbursement, the district will only be responsible for just under 20-percent of the cost of the proposed capital project.

To fund its share, the district will use its remaining EXCEL (Expanding our Children's Education and Learning) aid, approximately $320,000 in funds that are already allotted for capital projects and that could be lost if not used.

Additionally, the district will use approximately $250,000 in debt service reserve currently saved to fund the remaining portion of its share.

Tomlinson said district officials will begin setting the project in motion immediately, with blueprints for the wireless project having already been sent to the district's architect in order to send out bids.

The district is also expected to send the roof project out to bid as soon as possible.

Tomlinson said a contract to purchase the land adjacent to the Perth campus has already been drafted, and with the bond passage, the district can now move toward closing.

The district last undertook a capital project in 2008. That included replacing other portions of the roofs at both sites, as well as several interior renovations.