Eldred school bond could fund capital expenditures

Posted 10/25/22

ELDRED, NY — The Eldred Central School District Board of Education is asking voters to approve a bond to fund various capital improvements at both the elementary and junior-senior high school …

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Eldred school bond could fund capital expenditures


ELDRED, NY — The Eldred Central School District Board of Education is asking voters to approve a bond to fund various capital improvements at both the elementary and junior-senior high school campuses. The vote will take place from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, December 6 at the high school.

According to business manager Caleb Russell, the bond would replace existing bonds that will be paid off in 2025. The deal is structured to result in tax neutrality, as the cost of the new 17-year bond would replace the cost of the existing bonds. In funding the project, $11.165 million would be borrowed and $1.565 million would come from existing funds.

At the elementary school, projects include a new roof, sidewalks and other masonry work, and exterior safety doors as needed.

High school improvements concentrate primarily on the athletic field, where a new all-weather football and soccer field, track, bleacher seating, restrooms and a concession stand are proposed. The baseball field would also be repositioned. There would also be some sidewalk repairs, repointing of the building masonry and door replacements.

Superintendent Traci Ferreira justified the sports-related investment as twofold. The first is the inaccessible or nearly unusable condition of the parking area and restrooms; the track is collapsing in areas and unsafe to use—the underlying ground is washing away, due to insufficient drainage in that area. The sports schedule has continually been disrupted in recent years because of these poor conditions.

Secondly, sports is of great interest, with 45 percent of the high school students currently participating in team sports. That interest is expected to continue, based on the rate of participation in community football, Little League and soccer groups. The improved fields would be available for community groups to utilize.

At both schools, the libraries would be reconfigured into multimedia learning centers designed to enhance independent, teacher-directed and individual project learning. The high school library redesign would retain the rich woodwork and parquet floor that is currently part of that room’s decor.

The total cost of the improvements is approximately $7.5 million at the high school, and includes $5.9 million for the athletic field renovations and $250,000 for the library renovation. Approximately $5.1 million invested in the elementary school includes $3.85 million for the roof, $430,000 for the exterior safety and security doors, and $200,000 for the library. These dollar amounts are based on projections from the project engineers and financial analysts.

If approved, the sidewalk and door work would begin in the summer of 2023, and the bulk of the projects would be undertaken in the spring and summer of 2024. All work would be completed by the summer of 2025.

Ferreira said, “The proposed improvements will support and expand students’ advancement in literacy, math, science, multimedia and sports. The improvements will also inspire students’ analytical thinking and problem-solving skills, while enhancing communication, collaboration and learning.”  

Members of the administration and school board have visited various venues, making the case for the passage of the bond. These have included the monthly town meetings in Lumberland and Highland, and the senior groups in both towns.

Eldred Central School District, capital improvements, bond, investment


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