2014 Capital Project
Capital Project FAQs
- Why is the school board proposing a capital project?
A 2010 building condition survey and energy study identified high-priority work related to aging school facilities that, if left unaddressed, could lead to state violations, safety hazards, infrastructure failures, expensive maintenance costs and operational inefficiencies. Addressing such issues through a single capital project allows the district to leverage state building aid to achieve a much larger amount of work than otherwise possible using only the funds available in the annual school budget.
- What is the scope of work included in the capital project?
Click here to view a summary of the work.
- How will the project benefit students? The community?
The infrastructure capital project would benefit students by replacing the 25-year-old roofs over their heads (in some locations) and by addressing or preventing issues related to health, safety, security and energy efficiency. It would also benefit the community, which makes use of school facilities while attending sports or fine arts events; using the trails, track and playground; or participating in Queensbury Parks & Recreation programs on the school campus.
- How did the Board of Education identify the work included in the capital project?
A 2010 building condition survey and energy study identified high-priority work related to aging school facilities that, if left unaddressed, could lead to state violations, safety hazards, infrastructure failures, expensive maintenance costs and operational inefficiencies. Architects from CSArch, the Queensbury Board of Education and administrators also conducted site reviews to determine which infrastructure issues were most likely to have a negative impact on health, safety, security and energy efficiency. That information was compiled into a report that identified high, medium and low priority work. The final capital project is mostly high-priority work, but some items are simply more cost efficient to do within the scope of this project.
While much of the work affects unseen infrastructure, it lays a foundation that will allow the district to eventually embrace the community’s vision for its schools, as identified at the Community Education Summit in December 2013.
- Why does the capital project include work related to physical education and student athletes?
The capital project proposal includes work in athletic spaces used by all high school students. For example, the running track would be resurfaced to address deterioration from the high usage of students and community members during classes, sports, workouts, and regional/state events. The locker room shower space used by male general education students leaks and is worn, damaged and not handicap accessible. Current facilities also do not provide adequate indoor space for the care, maintenance and storage of sports equipment such as students’ cross-country skis, track and field equipment, and snowshoes. The capital project includes construction of a multi-purpose equipment/storage building with a concessions feature, which would replace the aging building on the football field that now provides concessions and an insufficient amount of equipment/storage space.
- How will the district pay for the capital project?
If approved, the capital project will amount to an $8.9 million investment in school infrastructure with no additional local tax impact. State building aid would cover 70.9 percent of the principal and interest costs over the 15-year life of the bond for the capital project. The energy efficiency work would also yield $2.1 million in cost-avoidance/savings over time. The $300,000 already budgeted annually for small infrastructure projects would cover the local share of the cost, allowing the district to leverage a smaller amount of money for a much larger amount of work than otherwise possible at one time.
- How much building aid on the capital project will the district receive from the state?
State building aid will cover 70.9 percent of the principal and interest costs over the 15-year life of the bond for the capital project.
- How will the project affect my taxes?
If approved, the infrastructure capital project will have no additional local tax impact beyond that of the annual school budget. Any change in individual school tax bills will be based on the financial impact of the voter-approved school budget and outside factors such as changes in property assessments.
- How will the project affect the 2014-15 school budget?
The 2014-15 school budget proposal includes $300,000 annually budgeted for small infrastructure projects. If the capital project is approved, the district will be able to leverage this smaller amount of money to complete a much larger amount of work than otherwise possible at one time. As a result, the capital project will have no additional local tax impact.
- How recently did voters approve other capital project work?
Voters most recently approved capital projects in 2009 and 2001, approximately five and 13 years ago. The 2014 capital project addresses infrastructure issues identified in a 2010 building condition survey and energy study as well as during more recent site visits.
- Why propose a capital project during a time of fiscal challenges?
The Queensbury Board of Education has proposed the infrastructure capital project at this time:
- To address issues with aging roofs and infrastructure.
- To increase operational efficiencies, health, safety, and security.
- To take advantage of state building aid by leveraging the amount already budgeted annually for small infrastructure projects to achieve a much larger amount of work sooner than otherwise possible.
- Almost 71 percent of the cost may be covered by the state, but doesn’t that money still come from my pocket?
Yes, most state revenue comes from the sales and income taxes paid by residents and businesses across New York. Queensbury residents will pay these taxes whether or not the capital project is approved, but they can return some of those taxes to the local community by taking advantage of state building aid.
- What level of voter approval is required to pass the capital project proposition?
A simple majority of voters, or 50 percent plus one, is necessary to pass the capital project proposition.
- When would the capital project be completed?
If the capital project proposition is approved by voters on May 20, 2014, it must then be approved by the New York State Education Department. If the state approves the district’s plan as anticipated, work is expected to take place between April – August 2015.
- Why was this work included in a capital project rather than built into the budget?
Through a capital project, the amount already budgeted annually for small infrastructure projects ($300,000) can be leveraged to get a much larger amount of work done sooner than otherwise possible.
- What happens if the work bids come to more than what was estimated for the capital project?
As with any voter-approved capital project or school budget, the Queensbury Board of Education can only spend up to the amount authorized by voters. If capital project bids come in higher than estimated, the district must scale back the scope of work to stay within the voter-authorized amount.
- What happens if the capital project is not approved?
Much of the $8.9 million capital project is high-priority work related to aging school facilities that, if left unaddressed, could lead to state violations, safety hazards, infrastructure failures, expensive maintenance costs and operational inefficiencies. If the capital project is not approved on May 20, 2014, some issues have the potential to disrupt the educational process. A few, but not many, of those issues could be partially addressed with the amount already budgeted annually for small infrastructure projects ($300,000). This band-aid tactic would mean the district will eventually have to come back to voters for approval to address these issues in emergency situations or at a future time when prices may be higher.
- What will the capital project proposition look like at the vote on May 20?
Voters will consider three propositions, as well as board of education candidates, during the annual school budget vote on May 20, 2014. The first proposition will be for the budget, the second for the capital project and the third for a bus purchase. The second proposition will read as follows:
"Shall the Board of Education of the Queensbury Union Free School District be authorized to construct, reconstruct and equip School District facilities, including site improvement, original furnishings, equipment, machinery, apparatus, and incidental improvements and expenses in connection therewith at a cost not to exceed $8,921,000 and shall the Board of Education be authorized to issue serial bonds and to levy real estate taxes for the cost of such projects?”
- How can I learn more about the capital project?
Visit www.queensburyschool.org/capproject to learn more.
- Why is the school board proposing a capital project?