What is a Capital Improvement Project?
Just like a home, school facilities need regular upkeep and occasional remodeling to continue to operate effectively and efficiently. A capital project helps school districts undertake these projects in a time-sensitive and cost-effective way. The district can receive state building aid for some capital improvement costs. This can help the district get more work done faster. It also brings local tax dollars paid to the state back into the local community. By spreading the cost out over a statewide tax base, the cost for each taxpayer is less.
Why do we have to vote on this project?
Voter approval is necessary for all capital improvement projects in New York State. In addition, the district cannot spend any of its Capital Reserve Funds unless voters agree to it. For this vote, a simple majority of voter support (50% plus one vote) is needed for passage.
What happens if the project is not approved by voters?
If the project is voted down, the district can:
TRY AGAIN. The same project (or a similar one) could be proposed in a future vote. This could delay the start of work, as the process would have to begin again.
FUND THE PROJECT LOCALLY. Capital improvements can be included in the district’s annual budget proposal. This could require local taxpayers to foot more of the cost.
POSTPONE THE PROJECT. Repairs and improvements could be delayed. If the prices of labor and materials continue to go up, the cost of the work could increase.
DO NOTHING. If the district chose not to make the improvements outlined in the project, the track would continue to sit unused, presenting a safety hazard for students, visitors and staff. The All-Purpose Room would continue to offer only limited access to library materials, to one class at a time, making it difficult for middle and high school students to use the space. Choir and band classes would continue to be held in rooms not suited to the purpose. Students would continue to face long waits for school meals with only one serving line available.