HORSEHEADS, NY (WETM) – Residents of the Horseheads Central School District will vote next week on the next phase of the district’s capital improvement plan, Horseheads 2030: Continue Our Construction.
Voting will take place on Tuesday, December 7 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Horseheads High School gymnasium. Masks will be compulsory for people entering the establishment.
The second phase of the project, valued at $ 122.2 million, includes the renovation of classrooms, cafeterias, gymnasiums in elementary schools and improvement of the general environment of elementary school students.
A majority of the funding is dedicated to the high school and district stadium.
- Big Flats Elementary School – $ 19,603,542
- Gardner Road Elementary School – $ 17,568,761
- Ridge Road Elementary School – $ 24,958,373
- Intermediate / Intermediate Schools – $ 12,354,839
- District High School and Stadium – $ 47,769,478
- Total – $ 122,254,993
The district provided a breakdown of the project plans for each of the buildings impacted by the project:
Ridge Road, Gardner Road and Big Flats would see cafeteria and kitchen renovations, gymnasium stadium renovations / additions, and classroom additions. The additions would allow the district to redesign and improve attendance areas as we phase out the use of Center Street for students. The Big Flats and Ridge Road Libraries would also be relocated and renovated, and the Gardner Road Library would be renovated. HVAC upgrades and replacements, playground improvements, and parking and sidewalk improvements would take place at all three schools.
Intermediate / Intermediate Schools
The Intermediate / Intermediate complex on Sing Sing Road will see refurbishment of the gymnasium and changing rooms, replacement of the roof, upgrades and replacements for the HVAC, as well as a redesign of the main parking lot for better circulation.
In high school, there would be renovations to several classrooms adjacent to a new multi-purpose physical education and track and field facility in the South Wing. This space would include a large gymnasium with several partitioned physical education spaces, an indoor track, a wrestling room, a flexible training / exercise space and a weight room. The high school complex would also see upgrades and replacements for the HVAC and site improvements, including sidewalks, traffic and parking lots.
The high school’s multi-purpose stadium would be complemented by changing rooms, physiotherapy / coaching areas and a music storage room adjacent to the main entrance.
The plans also include improvements to the gymnasium / locker room, roofing and a redesign of parking at middle / middle schools. It would also allow the district to regulate the temperatures in our classrooms / buildings through the continued installation and upgrading of the heating / ventilation and cooling systems.
We believe that our schools should also do this so that our students can be in a more conducive environment for learning. The improved mechanical systems in this project would address both heating and cooling in our schools.
If approved, the second phase of the project will still need to be approved by the New York State Department of Education. The district expects bids to be awarded as early as spring 2023, with phased construction starting in summer 2023.
The scope of the second major project is expected to be completed between fall 2026 and summer 2027.
The district said the project will be funded by 15-year bonds, which will be paid primarily with construction assistance from New York State. Additional funds would come from existing district resources and money from the district capital reserve.
The district expects to receive 82.1% of eligible costs as state aid to fund the project over 15 years. The plan would allocate $ 15 million, or $ 1 million per year, to be spent on the district budget for capital improvements and $ 10 million on capital reserves.
The district says its financial advisers “have arrived at a conservative estimate of a 6.34% increase in the tax levy to finance this project over 15 years.”
For a home with a total value of $ 100,000 without a STAR exemption, this would equate to an increase of $ 109.90, or 30 cents per day, over a four-year period starting in 2023. If the homeowner is eligible for the basic STAR exemption, the estimated increase would be $ 76.93; for those benefiting from the enhanced STAR exemption, the increase would be $ 32.20.
Who has the right to vote?
All residents of the district, whether tenants or owners, have the right to vote, provided they meet the following conditions;
- are an american citizen
- Be 18 years of age or older on polling day
- Have resided in the constituency for at least 30 days before the December 7 vote
- Are not prevented from voting in general elections on the basis of the electoral law
You do not need to be registered for the general election to vote.
Registered voters who cannot go to the polls on December 7 due to illness or travel can vote by mail. The current rules allow any voter who is at risk of contracting or spreading a communicable disease like COVID-19 to request a postal ballot.
Requests for postal ballots are available at the District Affairs Office, 143 Hibbard Road, Horseheads. The district sends out mail ballots to voters listed as “permanently disabled” by the Chemung County Electoral Board. Absentee ballots must be returned no later than 5:00 p.m. on December 7 to the District Business Office.
Anyone with questions should call 739-5601, ext. 4260.
Voters approved the first phase in October 2017 with 82% approving $ 94 million in improvements to schools in the district, primarily the high school.