Referendum vote on Cohoes capital project to be held May 17 – troyrecord

COHOES, NY — On Tuesday, May 17, voters in Cohoes will decide on a referendum on a $19,985,700 capital project that will upgrade existing buildings and classrooms to improve the educational experience for students.

The project addresses key health and safety measures, as well as improving the district’s sports fields, and will have no additional fiscal impact on residents.

How will the capital project be funded?

New York schools typically fund capital projects with a combination of state aid and local funds, including capital reserves (which are funds set aside by a district specifically for capital improvements ).

To fund the proposed project, Cohoes would borrow $17,985,700 through a bond issue and fund $2 million from the district’s capital reserve fund. The district expects public construction assistance to cover approximately 91.3% of total approved project costs. The remaining balance of the project (local share) will be tax neutral, which means that it will have no additional tax impact due to the reimbursement of the district’s debt.

What is the scope of the capital project?

New York State requires school districts to undergo a thorough review of their facilities and conduct a building condition survey every five years. The majority of proposed work has been identified over the past year through a building condition survey process and with input from building and district level committees.

“The proposed capital project will make necessary upgrades and upgrades to existing buildings and classrooms as well as upgrades to outdoor sports facilities,” said Superintendent Peggy O’Shea. “The project is also timed to align borrowing with the expiration of debt, which means property taxes will not increase as a result of the proposed works.”

The projects to be carried out in each building are as follows:

Abram Lansing Elementary School:

  • Repair damaged exterior walls and paint the building
  • Partial roof replacement
  • Refurbish the elevator
  • Replace the fire alarm system
  • Expand Cafeteria Seating
  • Replace window screens
  • Reconfiguration/extension of the nursing suite
  • Provide Portable Dividers for Support Spaces – School Intervention Specialists/Special Education/Social Worker/Psychologist
  • Replace some cabinets with a basic sink cabinet

Harmony Hill School:

  • Pavement reconstruction
  • Replace playground equipment and surfacing
  • Partial window replacement
  • Refurbish the elevator
  • Replace the fire alarm system
  • Convert locker rooms into storage space and Academic Response Specialist (AIS) space

Van Schaick Primary School:

  • Replace playground equipment, surfacing and resurfacing
  • Renovate the front door system and fix the leak
  • Replace roof ladder
  • Replace roof flashings
  • Reconstruction of an interior masonry wall
  • Renovate the front elevator
  • Replace emergency lighting and exit signs
  • Replace the fire alarm system
  • Rebuild curb and ADA ramp to play structures

Cohoes High School

  • Improving 7th and 8th grade science classrooms
  • Upgrade some bathrooms
  • Expand/reconfigure cafeteria to add needed space
  • Convert former business office into general classrooms
  • Reconstruction and repointing of masonry
  • Fire escape repair and painting
  • Partial repair of windows and replacement of mosquito nets
  • Select the replacement of the roof and flashings in the gymnasium and hall
  • Renovate some plaster walls
  • Plaster ceiling repair/replacement
  • Refurbish the elevator
  • Provide gymnasium bleachers
  • Replace the water heater

Cohoes High School:

  • Renovation of science labs/former Home & Careers classroom
  • Sports upgrades include the construction of a synthetic turf varsity field, with new eight-lane athletics lighting. Improvements to the joint venture’s land will include drainage, backstops and fencing.
  • Select pavement reconstruction.
  • Reconstruction of the masonry, repointing of the lintels and the chimney.
  • Select the replacement of the roof and flashings; replace wet and deteriorated areas and recoat for a 15 year warranty.
  • Renovate the main elevator
  • Move the electrical panels of the rooms occupied by the students
  • Improve ADA sidewalks and football field bleacher access
  • Provide concrete pads for unit fans

Design/Timeline

If approved by voters, design of all aspects of the project will begin in June. These plans will then be submitted to the New York State Department of Education (NYSED) for approval and issuance of the building permit.

After successful approval and submission, construction is expected to begin in summer 2023 and continue through fall 2024.

The scope of the capital project is part of a long-term facility improvement plan. Additional projects proposed through other sources of funding include: replacement of lighting in the high school auditorium, replacement of hallway lock/re-key sets in all five buildings, as well as replacement of all Public Address (PA) systems.

The annual school budget vote and school board election will take place from noon to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17, at the district’s three polling locations: Abram Lansing Elementary, Harmony Hill School, and Van Schaick Grade School.

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