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BOE discussion on possible capital project continues

Dec. 14, 2015

At Thursday night’s work session, the Schalmont Board of Education considered a new option for housing the district’s buses.

Since the last board meeting, district administrators were alerted to a potential property on Mariaville Road that the district might be able to lease or buy and convert to a bus storage facility.

Previous to the meeting, board members as well as members of the Facilities Committee toured the existing bus storage building (Transportation Building 100) and the Mariaville Road property. Members then returned to the middle school to discuss options for bus storage.

Three options were under consideration:

1. Continue with the existing plan to repair and reconstruct Transportation Building 100 as suggested by the district’s Facilities Committee.

2. Use one of the district’s fields at Jefferson or the Middle School to create an area for bus storage, which would include the reconstruction of the existing bus mechanics facility.

3. Buy or lease property at another location, which may also include the reconstruction of the existing bus mechanics facility.

As the pros and cons of each possibility were considered, the board and committee members felt the best option would be to reconstruct the existing building 100 or consider a purchasing new property.

However, both groups felt there were too many unknown factors to decide to move forward with either option.
It is still undetermined if or to what extend the New York State Education Department would aid the cost to repair the district’s current bus storage building. The district receives 59 percent in aid for eligible projects, a number that would greatly impact the local portion of any capital project.

While the state may not aid the cost of purchasing a new building, the option currently under consideration could end up being equal to or less than repairing the existing building. Karl Griffith, from the firm of Griffith Dardanelli Architects, PC, provided the members with a “broad strokes” estimate of what it might cost to convert the property in question to suit the district’s needs, adding a more detailed plan would be developed if the board decided to continue to explore this option.

Board and Facilities members agreed that it was worth getting more details and specific figures related to the possibility of purchasing or leasing a new property so that they could more accurately compare the two options. Given the time needed to create blueprints and collect the required information, the board decided to postpone making any resolution for a capital project until more facts were known.

They will, however, continue to discuss the other areas for recommendation by the Facilities Committee, such as the HVAC, paving and masonry work to the high school, middle school, and Jefferson, as well as the expansion of the music/athletics wing and a new vestibule at the high school at the Dec. 14 board meeting.