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School facility proposal approved

MILLBROOK — Board of Education for Millbrook Central School District President Thomas Hurley announced via the district website on Wednesday, Dec. 7, that the school facility proposal that had been put to vote that Monday had been approved 294 to 244 — a 54.6 percent majority. The proposition called for $9,939,080 in expenditures, of which $2,108,078 will be underwritten by donations and the district’s capital reserve fund. The vote authorized that the balance of $7,831,002 be paid through a tax levy, reflecting finance installments over a 15-year bond debt. Jaeger said the tax levy estimates a less than 1 percent increase and would not begin to have an impact on the tax levy until the 2013-14 school year.Now that this proposal has been approved, the district will make necessary repairs to Elm Drive, Alden Place and Millbrook Middle schools. These three buildings are the oldest buildings in the district and with the new proposal will receive a variety of upgrades, including: roof replacement, heating improvements and interior electrical improvements. Superintendent Lloyd Jaeger said the older buildings are more than 40 years old and have needed repairs for the past decade.“The board acknowledges with deep appreciation the fiscal support of the generous benefactors in our community, whose significant donations will be applied to offset the approved expenditures for a new track and baseball field, thereby keeping the tax impact of these much needed improvements to a minimum,” said Hurley.Through donations the district will replace the track. The current track is not regulation size for competition. With the new track students will be able to have home competitions in Millbrook. The proposal also includes making site work improvements to the district’s athletic fields. The approved proposal will also make the district eligible for state aid once the New York State Education Department reviews the final expenditure cost report. The district will be eligible for up to 23 percent of state aid reimbursement for the project. This wouldn’t have been possible if the voters had not approved the expenditures in combination with the building construction at the district schools. The board of education made sure that the public was educated on what the school facility proposal entailed in the months prior to the vote. Two public meetings were held in September to discuss the facility and athletic field repair proposals. The district used the information provided from those meetings to gauge the public’s feelings regarding the project.“We look forward in the coming months to submitting our construction plans to the State Education Department for its final approval and then commencing construction as soon as construction bids can be advertised and accepted,” said Hurley. “In the best case scenario, we hope to begin some construction as early as the summer of 2012.”

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