PK-8 Half Day - Friday, June 14

Students in grades PK-8 will have a half day on Friday, June 14. Dismissal times: Goff at 10:40 a.m., Pre-K (DPS/Genet/Green Meadow/Red Mill) at 10:45 a.m., Genet at 11:15 a.m., Bell Top/DPS/Green Meadow/Red Mill at 11:30 a.m.

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The East Greenbush Central School District began discussing a future capital project at the public Board of Education meeting on Tuesday evening in the Howard L. Goff Middle School cafeteria with the goal of maintaining and improving school buildings and grounds across the district.

Superintendent Jeff Simons presented information to the board and community regarding the process for developing a capital project including how needs are identified through a building condition survey, the importance of engaging stakeholders, and determining cost and timing.

“Districts are required to be good stewards of the taxpayer’s resources,” Mr. Simons said during the presentation. “And the Board of Education and the district is responsible for making sure that the resources of the East Greenbush resident taxpayers are utilized efficiently and effectively. One of the main responsibilities we have is to make sure that our facilities that house and serve the educational program for more than 4,000 students are well maintained.”

Mr. Simons noted the vast square footage of buildings (814,624 square feet) and acreage (201.91 acres) that the school district owns and maintains.

“When we put forth plans to renovate our schools, to fix the issues that need to be repaired, it’s important that we consider the entire district and also look at it from a comprehensive standpoint,” he said.

New York State requires all public school districts to submit a building condition survey every five years. This report includes a review of a school district’s buildings and the condition of schools, its components and equipment.

The district is currently working with a state licensed architect and engineer to fill out the building condition survey. It is due in March 2023.

A working draft of the building condition survey was available at the board meeting. Some of the key items that have been identified so far include the following:

  • Healthy and Safe Learning Environments
    • Install air conditioning in all elementary schools
    • Update HVAC systems
    • Replace all old drinking fountains with new bottle filler drinking fountains
    • Replace all interior non-rated doors with rated doors
    • Replace exit signs and emergency lighting units
    • Asbestos abatement
  • Inclusivity (Accessibility and Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance)
    • Reconstruct sidewalks and walkways for ADA accessibility
    • Add permanent handicapped ramps to school entrances
    • Renovate bathrooms for accessibility
    • Replace playgrounds at Bell Top, DPS and Green Meadow (Genet and Red Mill playgrounds will be replaced in Summer 2023 as part of previous capital project)
  • Future Driven Instructional Spaces and Program Improvements
    • Renovate all school libraries to meet current program needs based on recommendations from American Association of School Librarians
      • Active Learning Spaces
      • Small Group Areas 
      • Large Group Areas 
      • Community Areas 
      • Technology-rich Areas 
      • Quiet, Solitary Areas
    • Renovate Goff locker rooms
    • Reconstruct CHS Baseball Field with new drainage, fencing, backstops
    • Improve Goff fields for Physical Education, Athletics and Community Use
  • Energy Efficiency and Conservation
    • Replace boilers
    • Replace unit ventilators
    • Replace old interior and exterior lights with LED lights    
  • Obsolete Equipment/Facilities Improvement
    • Masonry repointing and repairs
    • Paving of select parking lots
    • Repair damaged concrete wall at Central Receiving loading dock
    • Make improvements to athletic fields including baseball, softball, Goff fields, Genet Pop Warner field and Columbia tennis courts

During the presentation, Director of Business and Finance Linda Wager explained how capital project costs are calculated, how projects are eligible for state reimbursement and what it all means for the local taxpayer.

Because the capital project planning process has just begun, a total cost has not yet been determined. However, based on current data, the school district would be reimbursed for approximately 73% of eligible items included in a future capital project. Maturing debt would also help limit any local tax impact.

Mrs. Wager provided an example of a timeline starting with the building condition survey, and then development of the project with input from the community, a public vote, the bidding process to contractors and the start of construction. A project timeline has not yet been determined.

School board members had the opportunity to ask questions and make comments following the capital project presentation.

District administrators plan to share similar information regarding the building condition survey and the process to identify facility repairs at the BRAC/Long Range Facilities Planning Committee meeting scheduled for February 6 at 7:00 p.m. in the Central Administration Board Room. Meetings will also be scheduled for faculty members and PTOs later this school year.

No final determinations have been made as to what the scope of the next capital project will entail, how much it will cost or the timing of a ballot proposition. 

“We want full input from our board and other stakeholders before formulating a referendum proposal,” Mr. Simons said.

The last capital project was approved by voters in 2017 and focused on replacement of aging systems, safety and health improvements and updating technology. That project, which has been delayed due to supply chain issues and labor shortages from the pandemic, is expected to be completed this school year.