MALONE — Village trustees heard a presentation from the Malone Central School District, Wednesday, morning at a workshop, on a capital project, which will go before voters, on Tuesday, May 18.
Superintendent Jerry Griffin and Chad Lawrence, the district’s superintendent of buildings and grounds, went over the different aspects of the proposition vote, which includes a $28.2 million capital project to address health, safety and infrastructure needs at all five schools within the district.
The proposed capital project will include roof, window, and boiler replacements, in addition to heating, ventilation and air conditioning upgrades, according to Lawrence, who said the district’s building management system, which is used to control the climate within the schools, will also see an upgrade.
“I compare our system, remember the old Atari video game, to the Xbox kids have now, it is antiquated and the issue we are having with it is the new technology does not communicate with the old technology,” Lawrence said.
Lawrence said the proposed project also includes renovations to the middle school’s science classrooms, the basement art classroom at St. Joseph’s Elementary School, and playground upgrades at all three elementary schools to provide ADA compliant facilities for students.
Mayor Andrea Dumas said she was glad to see the elementary school playground included with the project.
“That’s extremely important for our little ones to get out there and have a safe place to play,” Dumas said.
The project includes roof replacements at Davis Elementary School, the high school, and at Harison Gym, according to Lawrence.
For athletics, the existing outdoor athletic facility at Franklin Academy will also receive a significant upgrade, through the proposed capital project, according to Lawrence.
Dumas described the components of the project as necessary infrastructure needs.
“These are some major upgrades that are extremely needed,” Dumas said, pointing to proposed work on pool tile and the high school’s auditorium.
Trustee Matthew Boyea said he appreciated the work the school district has put in to plan for these improvements.
“Thanks for you hard work, I know it isn’t easy going through all this stuff but we appreciate it, any time we can improve the schools, especially with zero tax increase, you guys are doing a great job,” Boyea said.
According to Griffin, 90% of the project will be reimbursed through state building aid.
“We are lucky in Malone Central, we receive 90% building aid on all of our capital costs, for every dollar we spend, and we get 90 cents of it back the next year. This is a really good process for our district,” Griffin said, “Salmon River, Brushton-Moira, and Malone; we are all seeing a high aid ratio.”
Additionally, 10% of the project will be covered by a combination of capital reserve funds and an Energy Performance Contract.
“So how are we paying for it? We are proposing two things, our capital project which is $28.2 million and we are also proposing an energy performance contract,” Griffin said.
The performance contract covers $3.5 million in energy efficiency upgrades funded through guaranteed energy savings, according to meeting documents.
“We want to capture at least $3.5 million of that $28.2 million, not in addition too,” Griffin said, “That’s a pretty conservative estimate we have been hearing from some of the people that are coming in to do tours to potentially put bids in that we might be up close to $6 million.”
Griffin described the contract as creating guaranteed energy savings over the course of the 15-year agreement.
Voter approval of the capital project will not raise taxes, according to Griffin.
State building aid is anticipated to fund approximately $25.4 million of the total cost of the project, while district plans to use approximately $450,000 of capital reserve funds to help cover costs, according to Griffin.
“To be able to pull that from the reserves, I am able to confidently say we will have a $0 projected impact on our local levy, because of this project, it will be $0,” Griffin said, “It is good planning from a facilities standpoint and a fiduciary standpoint, I think it is going to have a great impact on our kids, I know it will.”
The project will be financed over a 15-year period, according to Griffin.
“We will bond this $28.2 million over the course of 15-years, but we are hoping it is not $28.2 million, we are hoping it is at least $3.5 million less than that, but to the voters we want to be as conservative as possible, so what we are saying is we are budgeting our bond payments to be $112,000 per year,” Griffin said, “The projected total cost after we receive our 90% aid is $445,950 that is our bottom line we will pay for all of these upgrades locally.”
Voting will take place from noon to 8 p.m., in the Franklin Academy Gym Lobby.
Other items on the May 18 ballot include the proposed education budget, and two seats on the school district’s board of education.
The total proposed budget that will go to residents for the budget referendum vote is $56,171,341, a 2.6% increase from last year’s budget, but the proposed budget will not raise the tax levy, and will result in a negative tax cap, according to Griffin.
Nicole Dumont, Kathy Fleury, Casey Keating, and Donna Kissane, the sole incumbent, are running for two five-year terms on the board of education.
According to Griffin, he and Lawrence will give a similar presentation to the Malone Town Board, Wednesday evening.