2021 Tour Addresses No Tax Impact, Building Needs
PHOTO - Skaneateles Central School District Superintendent Ken Slentz provided tours to district residents wishing to learn more about the district's proposed capital improvement project known as Project 2021.
SKANEATELES, NY (May 26, 2017) – The Skaneateles Central School District held a Project 2021 Community Forum and Tour on Thursday evening in the Skaneateles Middle School gym to provide a firsthand look into the project’s progress, financial implications, and building needs.
Skaneateles Central School District Superintendent Ken Slentz presented on the proposed project, which will go to a district wide vote on November 14.
“The timing of the forum is sequential,” said Slentz. “We will continue to do this into the fall, but we wanted to give district residents the opportunity now to look inside the schools firsthand. It is one thing to see pictures, it is something entirely different to sit in this gym, see the locker rooms and stairwells, to walk across the floors and feel the dead spots and understand why these are the areas that need to be addressed.”
While Slentz covered several areas in regards to the background of the project, including the age and condition of the district’s facilities and infrastructure as well as the evolving teaching and learning needs in today’s educational institutions, the majority of the night’s discussions focused on required renovations, proactive management, and the finances related to the project.
Amongst the required renovations to be completed are the replacement of original boiler systems, renovation of the middle school gym and locker rooms, drainage issues through the district in particular at Waterman Primary School, and the replacement of middle school and high school windows.
Proactive renovations include roofing needs, as the roofs on all buildings are approaching the end of their warranty life.
Joe Butler, Skaneateles Central School District Business Manager, addressed the financial implications of the proposed project which will not impose any additional tax impact on district residents.
“We have a significant piece of debt that is expiring in the fiscal year 2021, which is where the name of the project came from,” said Butler. “I like to think about this as a home project. Let’s say you are working on a kitchen remodel and you take out a home equity loan to cover it and you have those monthly payments to cover the loan. Eventually you pay off the loan, but now you have a roofing project that needs to be done. So that is an opportunity to now roll those monthly payments you have been making into a new project, without feeling an extra pull financially. You will keep a level debt. That is what we are looking at here with Project 2021. Between some capital reserves that we have and this expiring debt, our fiscal advisors have informed us that this project could reach as high as $35,600,000, without any additional taxes required from district residents to cover it.”
Slentz closed the presentation with a look into the future plans of the project as spring turns to summer and beyond.
“Finalizing the project’s scope will be a priority moving to the summer,” said Slentz. “We will determine all health and safety issues that must be addressed, determine those areas that are past or approaching their expected lifespan, and determine those areas that have the greatest impact on current and future teaching and learning needs. As these items are finalized we will continue to develop additional communication materials to remain as transparent as possible, as well as hosting more building tours as we approach the project vote on November 14.”
Keep in touch with events and happenings in relation to the Skaneateles Central School District by visiting online at www.skanschools.org or following the district’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Skaneateles.Schools/.
For more information on Project 2021, please visit the Project 2021 quick link section on the homepage of the Skaneateles Central School District website provided above.