Q-Mitted to the Future
On Dec. 14, 2021, Queensbury Union Free School District voters approved a $19.75 million capital improvement project, “Q-Mitted to the Future.”
The project addressed the district’s most immediate facility needs, including updates to aging infrastructure throughout the district’s school buildings, roofs and boilers. The project also included the addition of a multi-use turf field, new playground equipment for WHBI and upgrades to the QES pool. The new WHBI playground opened in October 2022. The turf field ribbon cutting is scheduled for Aug. 21, 2023. The pool will open by the end of August.
Legacy 2020 capital project
Queensbury Union Free School District voters approved the project in January 2016. The tax neutral $39,735,000 capital project is a reimagining of the five-decades-old high school building.
Scope of work
The Legacy 2020 Capital Project is reorganizing and renovating the rigid, mid-century high school structure to:
- Provide three interdisciplinary instructional communities (instead of subject-area silos):
- Humanities – English language arts, social studies, foreign language (purple in floor plan below)
- STEM – science, technology, engineering, math (green in floor plan below)
- Fine and performing arts (teal in floor plan below)
- Allow for greater collaboration among faculty and students through extended learning areas that are more flexible than the traditional classroom and that provide collaboration, socialization and enrichment opportunities. These areas would be dispersed throughout the instructional communities.
- Centralize support services (brown in floor plan below) such as the High School Counseling Center, psychological and social services, and the nurse’s office in the main school corridor to increase the ease of access for students and parents.
- Increase the usability of school-community spaces by opening up the cafeteria to the Blue Gym lobby, relocating the media center and a large-group room to the front of the building, and renovating the auditorium.
- Enhance security by providing a more secure school entrance and more clear sight lines in student areas, which puts learning on display while allowing for improved oversight. Centralizing support services and school-community spaces along a main corridor would also allow the school to more easily prevent unauthorized public access to classroom areas.
- Conserve energy where possible such as by replacing original, energy inefficient windows and walls.
Cost of the legacy 2020 capital project
The $39,735,000 capital project will have no additional local tax impact. State building aid will cover $26,550,000 of the cost and return to the local community some of the taxes it pays to the state. The remaining balance of $13,185,000 is the local share of the cost, but the project will be tax neutral due to the retirement of district debt.
2014 capital project
In May 2014, Queensbury residents approved an $8.9 million capital project that replaced 25-year-old roofs and improved health, safety, security and energy efficiency in all four school buildings. The capital project primarily addressed issues with aging infrastructure at all four school buildings. The scope of work included high-priority items identified in a 2010 building condition survey and energy study. At the high school, it also included work in athletic spaces used by all students.
Cost of the 2014 capital project
The approved capital project amounted to an $8,921,000 investment in school infrastructure with no additional local tax impact. Here’s how that happened:
- State building aid – Covers 70.9 percent of the principal and interest costs over the 15-year life of the bond and returns to the local community some of the taxes it pays to the state.
- Energy savings – Energy-efficient projects will yield $2.1 million in cost-avoidance/savings over time.
- Efficient use of local funds – The $300,000 already budgeted annually for small infrastructure projects will cover the local share of the cost, allowing the district to leverage a smaller amount of money for a much larger amount of work sooner than otherwise possible.