Thursday, Apr 19th

Last updateThu, 19 Apr 2018 12pm

You are here: Home Content Schools Architects Propose Facilities Projects for December Bond Referendum
first
  
last
 
 
start
stop
Police Report: Firefighters Shore up Central Avenue Apartment After Car Crashed through Wall

Police Report: Firefighters Shore up Central Avenue Apartment After Car Crashed through Wall

Scarsdale firefighters who are part of Technical Rescue Squad 36 assisted in sho...

Storytellers Showcase Their Talent at the Second Annual Tales from the 'Dale and Beyond

Storytellers Showcase Their Talent at the Second Annual Tales from the 'Dale and Beyond

There are so many great tales from the ‘Dale and a host of talented...

Residents Object to Renaming PA High School for Donor Steven Schwarzman

Residents Object to Renaming PA High School for Donor Steven Schwarzman

Though Board President William Natbony insists that the method of r...

Thorough Nominating Committee Process Yields Two Excellent School Board Candidates

Thorough Nominating Committee Process Yields Two Excellent School Board Candidates

This statement was sent to Scarsdale10583 by Elizabeth M. Guggenhei...

first
  
last
 
 
start
stop

Architects Propose Facilities Projects for December Bond Referendum

images(Updated 6-15) How much of the proposed $60mm- $70 million bond will go to the Greenacres Elementary School? At the June 12 meeting of the Board of Education, Superintendent Thomas Hagerman invited newly selected architects BBS to present their findings and recommendations for district-wide upgrades and renovations, including additions to Greenacres. 

Hagerman explained where he thought the funds should go saying, "People feel like there was a promise that was made that all of this money would go to Greenacres and I'm not sure where that came from. Even with KG&D, (the former architects) this issue of life and safety was front and center at all of our board meetings and presentations ... we understand that Greenacres is the priority beyond that. But this is the one time that we have without inflating the annual budget , taxes, or other kinds of things to attend to these issues that really are "musts." We're talking about roofs and boilers; code issues. These are things that we simply cannot walk by at this moment." He continued, "While Greenacres is a major priority, it is important to look at this across the entire district" stated Hagerman, "What we are compelled to do as the school district, the stewards of both the buildings and the budgets and all of those things, is that we have to attend to this work, especially the safety and code work, at this time, along with Greenacres. It is just an absolute must."

As to why he decided to dismiss former architects KG&D, Hagerman explained that much of the concern about Greenacres came from a study that KG&D did that found that Greenacres had 25% less square footage per student than the other schools, a study which the board stated came from old building plans rather than actual measurements. When BBS took measurements of Greenacres, they did not find the situation to be nearly as critical. To those who complained that the administration instructed the architects not to pursue plans for a new building, Hagerman insisted that BBS did an independent evaluation of the hundred year-old school and found Greenacres to be "as sound as other buildings" and suitable for renovation, saying, "The district has never given any direction in terms of a renovation or a new building."

He turned over the floor to BBS who then provided details of the top priority items for each building in the district, explaining that ventilation, security systems and ADA compliance and accessibility were issues at almost all the schools. In addition, they recommended routine maintenance and repair of items such as piping, electrical systems, and roofs. In total they identified $101 million in projects including $45 million in facilities needs and another $56 million in spatial needs. The administration and Board of Education will need to decide what projects should be included in the bond and what can be funded from the general operating budget in upcoming years.

One of the administration's goals appears to be equity among all the elementary school facilities, so the proposal includes the addition of cafeterias, storage space, maker spaces and music rooms to provide each school with equivalent facilities. The plan is to build cafeterias at Edgewood, Fox Meadow, Greenacres and Heathcote Schools. The cost for new construction at the four elementary schools – not including Greenacres – is $4.9 million at Edgewood, $6 million at Fox Meadow. $6.6 million at Fox Meadow and $1.5 million at Quaker Ridge. Additional funds would be spent in each school to upgrade classrooms, hallways, bathrooms and more. The architects had originally proposed the addition of a large cafeteria/learning commons at the middle school but that is now on hold after discussions with the stakeholders.

At Greenacres, the architects are proposing $6.3 million in facilities work to the existing school and $23.3 million in new construction costs. The two additions would add 15,000 square feet to the building, with a one-story addition on Putnam Road and a two-story addition on Huntington Avenue. The proposed site diagram shows that a raised crosswalk would extend across Huntington Avenue from the school to the field. The existing blacktop would be used for 20-25 parking spaces.

Traffic site plans have not been worked out as yet. Early in the meeting Dr. Hagerman said that parking and traffic were not the architects' issues but later at the meeting Roger Smith from BBS said that a traffic plan would be included.

Responding to concerns that the site was too small for further additions, Smith said that he had discussed the project with his contact at the State Education Department and believes this is a "doable" project. Smith said the work schedule would be up to the construction management firm, but estimated that it would span three summers. He believed the internal renovations could be done during the summers with construction of the additions during the school year.

The architects' presentation also included a preliminary estimate for the cost of a new school. The estimate shows that a new 74,000 square foot school at $500 a square foot would be $37 mm in "raw cost" and $52 mm in "project cost." It does not provide any details on the $15 million difference between raw and project cost in the estimate. It also adds another $7.1 million to demolish the old building and do site work to create filed, playgrounds and parking on the former site of the school for a total project cost of $59mm. To date, no detailed estimate for a new school that includes financing and energy savings have been provided. Many have asked the district to produce a detailed comparison of the long-term costs to repair and maintain the old school versus the expense to build a new school.

The members of the Board of Education were polled on the issue of tax neutrality .... Would they support a bond that exceeded $60 or $70 million to address more of the identified needs?

The consensus among the members was cautiously positive overall, with a sentiment that if the additional debt would further the community's mission they would consider taking on additional debt. Here are excerpts from their statements:

Art Rublin: I prefer that we not be locked into a bond that simply replaces existing debt service. These projects are good investments. I would like to know the numbers on an annual basis. Even if we pass a tax neutral bond, the budgets for the next 3-4 years will be high to meet all our needs.

Scott Silberfein: I would like to hear more public comment on that. I think we need to have more discussion about learning commons and food service at the four elementary schools. In principal if there is a justifiable reason I am not against going over it.

Bill Natbony: I need more debt service numbers. It depends how much we are talking about. I don't want to be locked into a number – but I have heard from people who are concerned about their taxes and we have heard from a fair number of people who support investing in education.

Nina Cannon: In general I would prefer tax neutrality but if a $70-$80 million bond embraces what we are trying to do as a whole I would consider a non tax-neutral bond.

Chris Morin: A tax neutral bond is somewhat like the tax cap as a boundary – but the scope of what we are trying to do is even more important. We should not let the big numbers be more scary than they should be. $20 million of extra spending would be a 1% tax increase – but it is well within what we do every year. The value of the projects and its impact is what we should consider.

Lee Maude: My taxes went up 9% for two years in a row when I moved here. I have always been afraid that if taxes go up too much, empty nesters will leave and we will have crowded schools. I am still trying to get my head around the bump outs at Fox Meadow and Edgewood. What do we need vs. what do we want? The food service idea is new – Greenacres is our priority ... it does not have enough bathrooms. I want to be sure that Greenacres gets the school that they really need.

Assistant Superintendent Mattey said that the administration will retain a financial advisor to do the analyses requested by the board, including financing options for renovations and new construction and to provide numbers on the impact of varying levels of debt service on tax rates.  It is unclear about when these analyses will be provided

At the end of the meeting, the board presented a schedule that will lead to a bond referendum in December. Two public forums will be held in on Tuesday June 20 from9 to 11am and 7 to 9 pmfor residents to ask further questions to the architects. You can watch the meeting online here

Here is a list of the larger projects proposed for the elementary schools – besides Greenacres:

Edgewood: A learning commons, a kitchen, new instrumental music and chorus rooms, added storage.

Fox Meadow: A learning commons and kitchen with storage and bathrooms.

Heathcote: A new dining commons and kitchen with storage, expansion of offices, new maker space, new main vestibule.

Quaker Ridge, Interior and space redesign of lower level rooms, creation of a maker space, entry vestibule and storage.

Proposal for the middle school and high school are in redevelopment after community feedback.

Facilities upgrades were rated on a range of one to five, reflecting their priority. Here are the top five most expensive projects recommended for each elementary school and their priority:

Edgewood:
1A Replace Abandoned Forced Air Systems (2) $2,500,000
3 Replace Boilers and Burners $400,000
2 Replace Roofing $377,076
3 Utility Transformer Enclosure $300,000
2 CCTV Cameras $225,000

Fox Meadow:
3&1A Improved Ventilation $2,500,000
2 Replace Boilers and Burners $400,000
2 CCTV Cameras $225,000)
1A H&V Unit Repair and Replacement $200,000
3 Replace Old Panelboards $150,000

Greenacres:
Classroom Unit Ventilators $1,200,000
3 Athletic Field Work $1,000,000 (note this work is due to the construction)
3 Replace Roofing $568,000
2 Replace Boilers and Burners $400,000
3 Roof Insulation $343,000

Heathcote:
3 Replace Roofing $2,412,384
3&1B Provide Air Handling Unit for Gym $450,000
2 Replace Boilers and Burners $400,000
2 CCTV Cameras $225,000
3 Old Panelboards $200,000

Quaker Ridge:
1B Provide Fresh Air for 15 Classrooms $715,000
3 Replace Roofing $660,812
2 Replace Old Steam UV's $360,000
2 CCTV Cameras $225,000
3 Replace Old Panelboards $150,000

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS

Good Work

SETTING

Tickets Now on Sale for STEAM Day 2018

Tickets Now on Sale for STEAM Day 2018

Tickets to STEAM Day at Scarsdale High School on Saturday April 21 from 11 am to 4 pm are now on sale . The event is open to the public and...

Readmore

Around Town

SETTING

Thorough Nominating Committee Process Yields Two Excellent School Board Candidates

Thorough Nominating Committee Process Yields Two Excellent School Board Candidates

This statement was sent to Scarsdale10583 by Elizabeth M. Guggenheimer, 2018 SBNC Chair
As the 2018 School Board Nominating Committee (SBN...

Readmore

Neighborhood News

SETTING

300 Teens Support the Pediatric Cancer Foundation

300 Teens Support the Pediatric Cancer Foundation

The Pediatric Cancer Foundation Junior Executive Board which consists of high school students from across Westchester County hosted their...

Readmore

On Our Minds

SETTING

Earth Day Giveaway: Free Food Scrap Compost on April 21

Earth Day Giveaway: Free Food Scrap Compost on April 21

To celebrate Earth Day on Saturday, April 21, 2018, the Village of Scarsdale is making high quality food scrap compost available to all r...

Readmore

On Our Radar

SETTING

Residents Object to Renaming PA High School for Donor Steven Schwarzman

Residents Object to Renaming PA High School for Donor Steven Schwarzman

Though Board President William Natbony insists that the method of recognizing donors to the Scarsdale Schools is at the sole discretion o...

Readmore

Parenting

SETTING

Scarsdale’s Raiders Baseball Team Off to a Strong Start

Scarsdale’s Raiders Baseball Team Off to a Strong Start

Coming off a surprising run to the Section I semifinals last season, expectations were high for the Raiders heading into the season despi...

Readmore

Village Voices

SETTING

Wear Denim on April 25 to Raise Awareness about Sexual Violence

Wear Denim on April 25 to Raise Awareness about Sexual Violence

The Scarsdale Coalition on Family Violence and Healthy Relationships is again encouraging community members, elected officials, businesse...

Readmore

Shout it Out

SETTING

Andrew Weber to Speak on Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction at League Luncheon

Andrew Weber to Speak on Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction at League Luncheon

Andrew C. "Andy" Weber, a 1978 graduate of Scarsdale High School, will speak about "Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction" at the Scarsd...

Readmore

School News

SETTING

Music Notes; Music Program Wins Award and Cuk Conducts Final Concert

Music Notes; Music Program Wins Award and Cuk Conducts Final Concert

John Cuk conducted his last choral concert on Tuesday April 17 This week, Craig Sherman District-wide Coordinator of Music and Performing ...

Readmore

Schools

SETTING

School Board Approves 2018/19 Budget with Funding for Synthetic Turf and Additional Security

School Board Approves 2018/19 Budget with Funding for Synthetic Turf and Additional Security

The Board of Education approved the resolution for a $157,849,407 budget for the 2018/2019 school year at their April 16 meeting with six...

Readmore

The Goods

SETTING

LWVS To Hold Candidates Forum April 30 for Contested School Board Election

LWVS To Hold Candidates Forum April 30 for Contested School Board Election

The League of Women Voters of Scarsdale encourages informed and active participation of Scarsdale citizens in our local government and el...

Readmore

Real Estate

SETTING

Disappointing First Quarter Homes Sales for 2018

Disappointing First Quarter Homes Sales for 2018

Home sales for 2018 are off to a slow start in Scarsdale, while Edgemont appears to be holding its own. For the first quarter of 2018 the...

Readmore

Today's News

SETTING

Police Report: Audi Windshield Damaged with Bullet Holes found on Bell Road

Police Report: Audi Windshield Damaged with Bullet Holes found on Bell Road

On April 8, around 9:30 p.m., a caller reported an Audi S4 with damage to the windshield, parked near the intersection of Bell and Spragu...

Readmore

Arts and Entertainment

SETTING

The Sun Shines on the SHS Carnival

The Sun Shines on the SHS Carnival

An annual rite of spring, the Scarsdale High School carnival took place Friday, April 13th and Saturday, April 14th. The weekend’s beauti...

Readmore

People

SETTING

Storytellers Showcase Their Talent at the Second Annual Tales from the 'Dale and Beyond

Storytellers Showcase Their Talent at the Second Annual Tales from the 'Dale and Beyond

There are so many great tales from the ‘Dale and a host of talented community members to tell them. The second annual night of storytelli...

Readmore

first
  
last
 
 
start
stop

Programs for Scarsdale Kids