Voters Approve Phase II Capital Project – Eagle News Online

CAZENOVIA – On March 30, more than two thousand residents of the Cazenovia Central School District (CCSD) went to the polls to vote on the district’s $10,713,319 Phase II capital project.

According to the district, the project aims to address equity, infrastructure and program needs outside of school buildings by modifying physical education (PE), sports and community facilities at the Emory Avenue complex.

“In a small community like ours, there is arguably no greater resource than a strong school district,” said Dave Mehlbaum, chair of the CCSD’s Board of Education. “The maintenance and modernization of our school facilities are essential to our mission. This project will provide current and future students with adequate facilities for physical education and extracurricular activities at our main Emory Avenue campus. We are grateful for the community support, and it is important that our students can see it for themselves, as this project is about children. »

According to the district’s plan, the field at Buckley-Volo Stadium will be transformed into a multi-purpose synthetic turf pitch that will be used by physical education programs and several girls’ and boys’ teams, including field hockey, soccer , lacrosse and soccer. (up to 225 ft x 360 ft). The stadium will also be equipped for athletics events.

The upper pitch, located behind the stadium, will be transformed into a multi-purpose synthetic turf pitch that will be used for physical education classes, team training and competitions. In addition to modified baseball and softball, the upper field will also be marked for field hockey, football, lacrosse and soccer (up to 190′ x 360′).

“The project is a wonderful opportunity for our children that will provide physical education spaces for 900 children a day,” said CCDS Superintendent Christopher DiFulvio. “The project will allow our children to play and train directly on campus. One of the most exciting parts for kids is ADA compliance which will provide access to all of our students.

SDCC plans to cover most of the project costs using a combination of available government building assistance (estimated at $4,188,192) and $2,410,325 from the district’s capital reserve fund, which is earmarked for capital improvements.

The remaining “local share” ($4,114,802) would be funded by the local tax levy. The estimated average annual increase for taxpayers is $39.54 per $100,000 of total home value.

Since its introduction, the proposal – particularly the artificial turf aspect of the project – has been a hotly debated topic, with community members expressing apprehensions regarding the safety of the proposed playing surfaces, cost of the project, environmental impacts, the maintenance and life expectancy of the turf and the future lighting potential of the stadium.

Residents brought their concerns to the district at two public information sessions and a series of four town halls held in Cazenovia, New Woodstock, Fenner and Nelson.

Ultimately, the proposal was approved by a vote of 1,189 to 1,102.

“I, and everyone in the district who contacted me after the vote, were extremely disappointed with the results, especially since the voters were essentially evenly divided,” said village resident Elizabeth Koennecke. . “We mourn the impending loss of the quiet enjoyment of our village, we are angry at the excessive cost to taxpayers and we are terrified of the ecological implications of all the tire waste that is going to be dumped next to the lake. ”

Koennecke added that she is concerned that the district is not keeping its promises related to protecting the lake, such as traffic control, parking and lighting.

On April 1, Cazenovia Councilwoman Kelli Johnson expressed her disappointment at the division that arose in response to the proposal.

“The voting was extremely close,” she said. “It is very unfortunate that this could have become a contentious issue when it could have been an opportunity to build community by engaging voices that were thought to have concerns early on in the initial conversations. Bringing different lenses to the table always creates a stronger proposition. An effort by the school to bring people together as the final details of this project are drafted will be appreciated.

The day after the referendum, DiFulvio thanked everyone in the community who voted.

“The voter turnout was impressive and a testament to the quality of our community,” he said.

SDCC Sports Administrator Michael Byrnes also acknowledged the strong turnout and thanked the district administration and school board for developing and supporting the project.

“I truly believe that the final results of this referendum vote will now place Cazenovia Central School District students and Cazenovia Laker teams in the best position to broadly enjoy the well-known healthy benefits and lifelong lessons that participation in the ‘athletics and outdoor physical activity education provides mind, body and soul,’ he said. “We will now be able to schedule and plan activities where students, teachers and coaches can rely on well-designed facilities that they can trust and be proud of day after day for so much more of our school calendar. . . We all plan to continue to represent our valued Cazenovia community with Laker PRIDE – Perseverance, Respect, Integrity, Dreams and Enthusiasm – for years to come.

According to DiFulvio, the next stage of the project is the design phase. Once this step is complete, the district will submit the project to the New York State Department of Education for approval. “We hope to submit the proposal in the fall,” he said.

Additional project information, including FAQs, is available on the district’s website at cazenoviacsd.com/district-office/2020-capital-project.

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