The 2023-24 Falconer Central School budget vote will include a proposed capital project.
The $18.65 million project focuses on the reconstruction and maintenance of all three of the school’s buildings.
“The Board of Education believes it is necessary to complete the project by providing money for it and not passing it on to the taxpayers,” said moderator Stephen Penholu. “We see all of these areas as essential, and some of them aren’t often eye catching.”
The project includes the renovation of the roofs of the three buildings. working on the fire alarm system in the high school building; school hall renovation; an upgrade to the HVAC systems in the three buildings; upgrades to boilers on both Fenner and Temple; nurse ward updates and guidance/area offices; and renovated the middle school locker room and all three kitchens, among other things.
The capital project is something Penhulu said the school district reviews regularly.
“Every five years by state law we are required to conduct a survey of building conditions,” Penhollow said. “A capital project is usually attached when roofs need to be replaced. Our last project was in 2017.”
The HVAC system and ceilings are more than 25 years old, Penhulu said. The bathrooms are over 20 years old and the hall has not been updated since the late 90’s. There is a time period of about 20 years before things need to be updated. Additionally, Penhulu said air filtration systems are something that has been a big topic of conversation in many places post-COVID-19 pandemic.
Most of the project — $15.65 million of the estimated cost of $18.65 million — will be paid for by state aid. The remaining $3 million will come from what has been put into the reserves.
“We’re doing everything we can to get the buildings where they should be,” he said. Penhollow said. There will be no expected tax impact from the project. The Board of Directors recognizes that this is a complex world we live in and is always aware of these pressures and works to think ahead.”
Most importantly, Penhollow said the project will allow the school district to continue to provide for the needs of its students that the community expects.
“The school is very much like our homes,” Penhollow said. “It is a wonderful resource and one of the most important in the community. We take financial responsibility, and believe this project fits the criteria to continue providing the high quality education and safety that the community expects.”
The vote on the school budget takes place on May 16th.
“We are very grateful for the community’s continued support of the school district.” Penhollow said. “We work hard to do what’s best for children and put them first. We appreciate the support.”