Penn Yan School Board to vote on project Oct. 15

Gwen Chamberlain
GwenChamberlain@Chronicle-Express.com

The Penn Yan Central School Board will vote on a proposed $3.1 million capital project at its next meeting on Oct. 15. Once the board decides which option for repairs and upgrades it favors, the final decision will be up to school district voters on Dec. 9.

Voters will be asked to approve the spending, which will be financed by bonds and state aid.

Assistant Superintendent for Business Cathy Milliman says the project’s local cost will not cause a major increase in the district’s debt since other obligations will be closing out in the 2018-19 school year. Existing debt will decline by $1.1 million in the 2019-20 school year, when this project’s state aid payments will zero out and associated borrowing will add $262,913 to the district’s debt service. This year (2014-15) the district’s total existing debt is $4.08 million. Over the next four years, existing debt increases to $4.2 million before declining in 2018-19 to $3 million.

Adding the cost of this project will increase existing debt by $204,269 in 2016-17; $264,938 in 2017-18; and $263,438 in 2018-19. Milliman says the project will be timed so state aid reimbursements for construction and funds already set aside in a deb service account can be used to offset those increases.

The scope of the proposed project addresses a collection of small projects that will maintain the district’s buildings and facilities to prevent the need for later, larger projects, explains Interim Superintendent Howard Dennis.

The bulk of the project will be concentrated at the middle school, where a new roof alone is estimated to cost nearly $400,000. Other components of the project at the middle school include and auditorium sound system upgrade ($115,000), general asbestos abatement ($172,500); repairs to the skylight and dome ($89,400) and replacing flooring ($74,750). Proposed work at the middle school will total $1.3 million.

Work proposed at the elementary school includes repairs to flooring, ventilation, and masonry to total $989,975. The scope of work in the repairs to flooring may be reduced to free up funds for other needs, such as new lights in the elementary gymnasium, upgrades to kitchen electrical outlets, and repairs to the road accessing the upper athletic fields.

Proposed work in the academy will total $270,250.

Milliman had previously stated that 98 percent of the work should be eligible for state aid, making the local cost $1.87 million.

Other business at the Oct. 1 meeting included:

• RECOGNITION: Board members and administrators recognized new staff: Seven at the elementary school, three at the middle school, three at the academy and one shared between the middle and elementary schools.

• FLOOD DAMAGE: Dennis reported the middle school floor repairs are complete, and Milliman continues to work with officials from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to secure reimbursement.