By Colleen Mahoney
The Springville-Griffith Institute Board of Education on Monday, Aug. 8 approved a $26+ million capital improvement project. The project still needs to be approved by district taxpayers before any work can begin. The board set a vote date of Sept. 27 for all district residents in Colden, Collins and Springville.
In total, the project will cost $25,795,000 plus interest for a total of $27,795,000. A representative from Bernard P. Donegan Inc, the financial consultant to S-GI, said taxpayers wouldn’t see an increase until 2018.
The capital project is projected to cost district taxpayers $19 per year for those without a STAR exemption; $13 for those with a STAR exemption and $7 for those with Senior STAR. S-GI Superintendent Kimberly Moritz called the cost significantly less than the district’s failed December project, which would have cost district taxpayers $47.87 for those without STAR.
“This is a significantly smaller impact on taxpayers,” Moritz said, “which was our goal from the beginning.”
The project includes work on all five district buildings at SES, Colden Elementary School, Springville Middle School, the high school and the district office and includes replacement of the Springville Elementary School roof and the high school athletic fields.
By reducing the scope of the project at the each building and increasing the amount of work that qualifies for state aid, the district was able to reduce the total project cost.
According to Jeff Nunn of Gordon W. Jones Associates Architects, the lead architect for the project, once the project is approved by voters, the district then has to have the work approved by the New York State Education Department, which could took up to nine months. The project can then go out to bid in April 2018 with work completed the following year.
At Colden Elementary, it is expected the work will cost $1,552,000. The work would replace the pavement and sidewalks, reroof the original school house and replace a kitchen exhaust hood, which does not meet code. Carpet and vinyl flooring will be replaced throughout the building.
“We have conducted two thorough air quality studies in Colden due to health concerns and complaints,” Moritz wrote on her blog. “While both studies … revealed that the air quality at CES is acceptable and is not a risk to our staff and students, we cannot ignore that this old carpeting may be contributing to the complaints.”
Moritz had previously addressed the debate about closing Colden Elementary due to declining enrollment. While Moritz acknowledges that S-GI is serving fewer students, she noted that the district needs to have a wider conversation about how to handle lower student numbers. In the meantime, however, the district needs to take care of the buildings they have.
Springville Elementary School will receive a new roof, as the 1998 portion of the roof is failing. Mortiz called it the “most pressing” issue in the district. The total scope of work proposed for SES is $6,527,000.
Work at Springville Middle School is expected to cost $9,517,000 and includes replacement of the sidewalks, pavement and curbing. Moritz said the repaving is “sorely needed.” The entire roof will also be repaired, along with the roof drains and multi-zone heating and ventilation units.
During the Aug. 8 board meeting, Nunn addressed the press box, which was a point of discussion during a community information session.
The current press box at the high school does not meet code and has to be replaced. Residents questioned if it could be renovated and reduced in size to save costs. Nunn explained the difference in cost between renovation and replacement was so miniscule that the district should replace it. The size of the press box is being reduced and there will be roof access.
The next Springville-Griffith Institute Board of Education meeting will be held on Monday, Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. in the high school library and media center, 290 N. Buffalo St., in Springville.
The district-wide vote will be Sept. 27 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Voting will take place at the Collins Center Fire Hall, on Main Street; Colden Elementary School, at 8263 Boston-Colden Road; and the High School main lobby, 290 N. Buffalo St., Springville.
For more information on the capital project, visit www.SpringvilleGI.org.