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School Board Issues Note on Next Steps for Facilities Planning

Board2016-17(This letter was sent to the community by School Board President Lee Maude and School Board V.P. Bill Natboony on June 27, 2017)

Board of Education Message:
Facilities and Bond Planning Update

To the Scarsdale Community:

On behalf of your Scarsdale Board of Education, we write to advise you of the status of ongoing discussions regarding facilities needs and planning for the District's schools, and to advise of next steps, including a meeting of the Board where facilities plans will be discussed on July 6, 2017 in Rooms 170-72 of the Scarsdale High School, beginning at approximately 9:00 A.M.

As you likely know, the Board of Education has for several years been engaged in various analyses and reviews of the facilities needs for the schools in our District. While much public and Board discussion has centered around how to address facilities issues at the Greenacres Elementary School, the District Administration and various consultants have recently completed a comprehensive review of all of the District's facilities (including Greenacres) and a prioritization of needed work. While the District's annual budget does allocate resources towards maintenance and some facilities projects, the current and future facilities needs of the District are extensive and, it appears, cannot be funded without bond financing. With repayment of certain long term bond debt for the District to be completed in 2019, the Board has been discussing a referendum for new bond issuance to fund major facilities work.

The District Administration is preparing a recommendation for the Board on how to address the District's facilities needs moving forward, including necessary facilities work relating to Greenacres. The Administration has indicated the recommendation will be based upon numerous factors, including the educational goals of the District, information from the District's architects (past and present), consultants and experts, Building Committees, significant community input, and the Board members' recent statements about the desired size of any bond and the relevance of the concept of tax neutrality.

At the July 6, 2017 Board meeting, BBS, the District's architects, will provide certain updates and additional analysis regarding its recent work, and the Administration is expected to provide details and an underlying explanation of its recommendations concerning the work to be financed by an upcoming bond. The Board is expected to discuss the Administration's recommendation, including the recommendation on how to proceed with work relating to Greenacres, and whether, and to what extent, the Board is in a position to give guidance to the Administration on how to proceed.

The Board has, over an extended period of time, received extensive comments on the facilities issues, and in particular Greenacres, from many members of the Scarsdale community, including many members of the Greenacres community. These comments are appreciated. To the extent you can or wish to, the Board would welcome any additional comments prior to its July 6, 2017 meeting. There will also be the opportunity at the July 6, 2017 meeting for any member of the public or community group to comment on facilities issues prior to the Board's discussion that morning.

The Board agenda for July 6, 2017 will include the Board reviewing and discussing the Administration's recommendations and, to the extent the Board believes it appropriate based on the information before it, giving guidance to the Administration on how to proceed. The Board's discussions at that time will inform whether, and to what extent, the Board will attempt to schedule additional meetings over the summer. If you are interested in information regarding District facilities issues, we urge you to review the District website, and in particular the Facilities sections, which contain information concerning the process so far. As more information becomes available, it will be posted on the District's website, along with the Board's meeting agendas.

Sincerely,
Leila S. Maude
President, Scarsdale Board of Education

William J. Natbony
Vice-President, Scarsdale Board of Education

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