BOE proposes facility improvements
MILLBROOK — The Millbrook Central School District held two public meetings in September to discuss facility and athletic field repair proposals.“The board reviewed the options about how large or how small a package proposal would be,” said Lloyd Jaeger, superintendent of the Millbrook Central School District. “By holding the two opening meetings in September to get community feedback, I think the board realized there were important things that needed to be addressed. Many of them came up originally in the 2002 proposal when these needs were first brought forward in the community.” The majority of the site work improvements in the current package were initially presented for budget approval by the board in 2002. The board put a proposal together in 2001 to build a new high school, improve the buildings and resurface the track. The proposal was not approved. In 2002 the board broke up the proposal and only focused on building a new high school. “The improvements now are for some of the very same things that were proposed for fixing in 2002,” Jaeger said. “For example, the roof replacement of Elm Drive, the roof replacement of the Alden Place school, heating improvements to Alden and the middle school, as well as interior electrical improvements in the middle school and a new track.”In addition, the 2011 package includes skylight replacements and heating system upgrades with the boiler replacement for Alden Place. The middle school will receive a heating system with conversion to hot water and extended boiler flue. All together the proposed school facility improvements comes to an estimated total of $6,449,000.As for the site work improvements, there would be a track with an artificial turf multi-sport infield, track equipment and steeplechase pit. The proposal also included bleachers for 400 people and a pressbox. The baseball and softball fields would receive reconstruction, dugouts and irrigation. There would be a pump, well and storage tank for athletics fields. In addition, there will also be accessibility access to the fields, security cameras and electrical service installed for the fields. The estimated amount for the site work improvement comes to $3,490,080, making the total proposed project $9,939,080.Jaeger said that with the package that is currently being proposed, the district could save as much as $30,000 in field oil a year by fixing the heating plants. The district has saved approximately one million dollars already and has acquired $1,108,078 in donations. By adding the saved money and donations, there is $2,108,078 that would off-set the total proposed project amount already.“The remaining balance that we are going to be asking for voter approval is $7,831,002,” Jaeger said. “We are proposing that the remaining balace be financed by a 15-year bond note estimated at a 4 percent interest rate. We don’t think that’s going to hit the tax levy until the 2013-14 school year. If we vote in December, it wouldn’t affect the tax levy until the 2013-14. At that time we are estimating it would increase the tax levy .9 of 1 percent.”The superintendent said that the district is also eligible for state aid once the New York State Education Department reviews the final expenditure cost report. The district would be eligible for 23 percent of the projects cost in state aid. This would yield off-setting the bond expense to the estimated amount of $2,285,988 when the district starts receiving state aid the money will come back to the district over a 15-year period.“We think the .9 percent impact would be decreased further to as low as .6 or .7 percent impact per year,” said Jaeger.The superintendent said that the majority of community members who came to the public meetings in September said that there was a logic to the board decision and felt as though the board was being cost conscious in how to address these improvements at this time.