Tri-Valley Central School District Proposes $11 Million Capital Project
At the recent March 21, 2019 Board of Education meeting, the Tri-Valley Board of Education
unanimously voted to propose a Capital Project with an estimated cost of $11 million. The project, which will commence in the summer of 2019 and finish during the summer of 2020, proposes improvements to dated classrooms and instructional spaces; security upgrades to both the Elementaryand Secondary schools; improvements to gymnasiums and athletic space; additions of A.D.A. (Americans With Disabilities Act) compliant bleachers and a new scoreboard at the Iatauro Athletic Complex; improvements and upgrades to lighting inside and outside of the buildings; bathroom renovationsdistrict wide as well as the relocation of the District offices to the main campus. The last Capital Project, started in 2016, focused on much needed window and roof repairs, and recently concluded in the spring of 2019.
The cost of the project, estimated at $11 million, is to be paid for through the use of a Capital Reserve Fund ($6.5 million) and a 15-year bond (4.5 million), and will have no impact to the Tri-Valley taxpayers. “The Board of Education is very aware of balancing the needs of the students in the school with the ability of our taxpayers to support us” commented Superintendent of Schools Michael Williams. “TheTri-Valley community has been incredibly supportive of the school district. Because of our ability to retire old debt earlier than scheduled and using anticipated state aid from the recently completed project, we can make these improvements without increasing school taxes to do so. This is the result of prudent financial planning by the Board of Education and the school administration over the last several years.”
The New York State Education Department requires all school districts to conduct a Building Condition Survey every five years, to identify the needs of the infrastructure, whether relative to age or changing code requirements, and allow school districts to prioritize needs and plan appropriately. “By making improvements and upgrades on a regular schedule, the District can avoid large and costly repairs that become necessary because of neglect. A school district is much like a home. When something needs to be fixed, you do so as soon as possible to avoid spending more money later” commented Williams.
“The science labs and the Family and Consumer Science rooms are dated. They have served us for a long period of time but are simply obsolete. Our students deserve to be working in updated, modern spaces with access to the newest technology and tools available to them. Our current weight room is what I consider woefully inadequate to allow our students to train adequately and is very similar to the facility I worked out in while in high school forty years ago! We intend to move our cardio equipment (currently housed next to the weight room) upstairs to the old gymnasium/auditorium and create a space where students can work on cardio equipment safely while other PE activities occur in the main gym space, all while being easily supervised by the PE teacher” stated Williams.
One of the items being addressed in the Capital Project is the relocation of the District Office to the main building. Currently, the District Offices are housed across the street near the football field in a modular building. The new District Office would be housed in the lower level of the Secondary School library. “There is a rumor out there that we are eliminating the library to accommodate the District Office. That is simply not true!” states Superintendent Williams. “The current library, which is two floors, has more than enough space to accommodate the new offices while maintaining all access for students and staff. The main library space (to be called the Library/Media Center) will be housed in the upper portion of the space, located near the main office and in the highest traffic area for student access. Neither the Board nor I would never advocate for the removal of the school library. That is completely contrary to what
our school represents. However, the relocation of the District Offices will allow us to be a part of the instructional space of the building, while providing both parents and the community a central location to access all major programs of the school. Anyone needing the answers to several questions, or needing to speak to several staff members, can do so in one location.”
Another major item being addressed in this project is that of school security. “The renovations of the main entrances of both the Elementary and Secondary schools will include major improvements to security. Unfortunately, once someone enters the building, a certain level of control is lost. We must do everything in our power to make sure that every person who enters our building is safe and appropriate” commented Williams. The security upgrades include; new cameras with facial recognition software, security film placed on all first floor windows, bullet proof glass for the entry offices, reinforced magnetic entry doors, and a new and expanded emergency alert system which will work both in the school and out to local community businesses to alert them to possible danger in the locale. “We want our area residents and local businesses to be as aware as we are to possible threats in the community” stated Williams.
If approved, the work would begin this summer. Part of that work would include the addition to ADA compliant bleachers at the football field, a new press box above the bleachers, replacement of the dividing walls in the Elementary and Secondary school gymnasiums, and the renovation of the “Hill” in the Elementary School, which includes painting, new carpeting and the installation of hand rails to allow for easier navigation between the levels. The remainder of the work would begin in the summer of 2020.
The vote is scheduled for May 21, 2019, simultaneous to the annual Budget Vote. The voting will take place in the Secondary School gymnasium, lower level, from 1:00 PM to 8:00 PM. More information regarding both the Capital Project and the Budget Vote canbe found on the school’s website, www.trivalleycsd.org.
Additional information: Architects Concept Drawings
Family and Consumer Science Room
Media Center (library)