Proposed capital project heads to B-P voters Feb. 5

BROADALBIN – The Broadalbin-Perth Central School District held a public hearing Monday about the proposed $2.1 million capital project that includes no increase in the tax levy due to funding from a grant and money from a capital reserve fund.

Although no one from the public spoke during the hearing, the district did detail how the project will be funded and what it will improve.

The project’s primary focus would be to repair the roofing at the high school and the Perth building – which houses most of the middle school classrooms – but the project also would allow the district to acquire about 40 acres of land adjacent to the middle school, for $65,000, for additional parking.

However, parking would not be addressed immediately because that would have required an increase in the tax levy. The purchase would simply provide the district with the land to eventually add parking.

“In the end, the Board of Education just could not ask the community to pay one cent out of their pocket to pay for a project,” district Superintendent Stephen Tomlinson said.

The district would use $1.65 million to replace the roof over a wing of the high school – which includes the cafeteria, English, math, social studies, and foreign language classrooms – and the main building at the Perth site.

Tomlinson said because so many roofing companies will be bidding to do the work, the total cost could be lower than expected.

The last time those sections of roof were replaced was 1995, officials said.

Tomlinson said because the roofs are out of warranty, the repair costs have been expensive. The new roof would fix the problem and it carries a 15-year warranty.

The project also includes plans for technology infrastructure upgrades and permission to acquire the necessary equipment and machinery to complete the work.

A small portion of the project would go toward district-wide wireless Internet access to help the district get full value from the grants it was awarded last year.

B-P received a $465,832 grant from the New York State Education?Department’s Virtual Advanced Placement Program. The grant gives students the option of preparing for the AP exam outside of class time through a virtual curriculum.

The district also received a Management?Efficiency Competitive grant. The district plans to use the grant to purchase classroom technology, including tablets and laptops.

Officials said about $450,000 of the proposed capital project funds would be used to update the district’s technology infrastructure. The current system was installed in 1998 and is about seven years past its useful lifespan, officials said.

The district also would install about 120 wireless-Internet access points throughout its school building.

The board began exploring the project last spring, and the maximum cost will be about $2.16 million.

Officials said if voters approve the proposal, state building aid would cover 81.3 percent of the project cost and the district would use $321,629 in EXCEL money and the rest will come from the debt service reserve.

“It is a project that truly has no tax increase and we hope that is a positive thing to get some really important things done,” Marco Zumbolo, school business administrator, said.

The vote will be Feb. 5 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the middle school and high school. Where school residents vote will be based on the ZIP code where they reside.

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