ELLENBURG DEPOT - The second time's a charm.
After the EXCEL Capital Improvement Project was voted against in December, Northern Adirondack Central School revised their $35.9 million project plan, whittling it down to $7.9 million, at no impact to taxpayers.
The plan, known as Proposition 1 on the ballot, passed by a "landslide" according to superintendent Laura J. Marlow, with a vote of 707 to 230.
The second part of the project, known as Proposition 2, was at a small tax increase to taxpayers, and also passed with a vote of 482 to 421.
"That was close," said Marlow of Proposition 2.
Overall, she said the atmosphere around the district is "full of promise."
"Perseverance really paid off," Marlow said. "Working together with the community as a team, really taking a look at that first project and fine tuning it really paid off."
"I truly believe that this is a vote of confidence that this district really needed to say that we're going to invest in ... the education of our children," she added. "Now we can really move towards the 21st century learning environment and bring in the technology that is so needed."
Marlow explained the next phase of the project is the design phase, which will involve hiring a construction manager to oversee the plans.
"Now it's working with focus groups to be able to actually design what needs to be done," she said.
The plan is to work with faculty, staff and students to see what they want for the school.
For example, Marlow is hoping to look to the students for the redesign of the cafeteria.
"A lot of cafeterias are going to more of a caf /booth type of seating," she explained. "I think by doing that people take ownership. They become excited about the project and then when we finally get to the phase of the actual construction, people say, 'I had some say in that. I gave my two cents, and they listened.'"
Although she can't say for sure, Marlow is hoping construction will begin summer 2011.
"This is a very exciting time for Northern Adirondack Central School district," she said. "You're talking 40 years of [needed] upgrades. So it's just a blessing for this district."