TICONDEROGA Ticonderoga Central School voters will decide the fate of a proposed a $23.8 million building and renovation project when they go to the polls Sept. 25.
The proposal calls for an addition at the high school, creation of new classroom space, moving administrative offices, improved parking and renovation of current facilities.
This has been a year-long process, said John McDonald, school superintendent. Our purpose as a committee was to take a look at our facilities, our programs and our needs in light of code, safety, security and curriculum and design a building project thats not just brick and mortar, but something that meets community needs.
The $23,872,700 project is eligible for 60 percent state aid, which would leave local taxpayers responsible for $13,660,309. McDonald said that equates to $75 a year for a resident homeowner with a full valuation of $100,000 starting in 2010 for 20 years.
Thats the worst-case scenario, McDonald said. Weve applied for several grants and are looking for other funding sources that could reduce that amount.
Voting will be noon to 8 p.m. in the Ti High lobby and at the Hague Community Center.
We feel we have a very good school, but we have to prepare our students for the 21st Century, McDonald said.
The high school, which was built in 1929 and had an addition in 1958, and the middle-elementary school, built in 1967, dont meet all the needs of students, he said.
The district committee studying facilities actually submitted eight options, the most expensive $37 million, to the school board for consideration.
The committee left no stone unturned, McDonald said. We thought about everything our students need and what our community can afford. My hats off to the committee.
The high school proposal calls for:
construction of a three-floor addition on the Amherst Avenue side of the high school to house technology, music and art instruction;
moving the principals office, now on the second floor, to the space vacated by the art room adjacent to the buildings front door;
building a secure vestibule at the school entrance;
moving the district office from its current building on Amherst Avenue into the school space vacated by the technology room;
replacing all the buildings windows with energy-efficient windows;
renovation of the high school gym lobby and locker rooms;
moving the guidance office to the current principals office and expanding the library into the space vacated by guidance; and
redoing the gym floor.
McDonald said technology shortcomings have long been a concern. Some of the technology equipment now in use dates to the 1940s, he said.
The art department needs more room and requires proper ventilation in order to offer classes such as ceramics and pottery, McDonald said.
The music department now shares space with the cafeteria, limiting class offerings and times, he said.
Moving the principals office and building the entry vestibule are security measures, the superintendent added.
The district office must move, he said, since the current administration building fails to meet code and handicap accessibility laws. If the project is approved, the current district office will be torn down and the space used for parking.
The middle-elementary school proposal calls for:
construction of a new cafeteria at the rear of the gym;
renovation of the current cafeteria into a multi-purpose room;
making the current kitchen into a music room;
moving both principals offices adjacent to the front doors;
building secure vestibules at each schools entrance;
enclosing both libraries;
adding one classroom to the middle school and two class rooms to the elementary school;
installing security equipment such as a communications system and cameras;
converting the current principals offices into meeting space;
reconfiguring the parking lot to create separate parking and bus areas as a safety measure; and
replacing all carpet and ceiling tiles.
The middle-elementary school is the most utilized building in the community, McDonald said. About 50 civic groups use the cafeteria space for after-school activities, he noted. A new cafeteria and a multi-purpose room would allow greater access to the facility as well as greater flexibility in school scheduling.
Theres a lot of discussion about the relationship between schools and their communities, McDonald said. We know we hold an important place in the community.