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    Building Basics: A Tax-Neutral Capital Project to Protect Our Infrastructure

    Vote: December 15, 2020 from 12-9 PM at each of the four elementary schools

    The Saugerties Central School District community is being asked to vote on a $22 million tax-neutral capital project designed to address aged infrastructure, energy efficiency, and health/safety concerns in each of our school buildings. Most of the proposed work addresses antiquated, end-of-life systems, such as electrical transformers from 1958, roofing that is more than 30 years old, leaking plumbing, heaving asphalt driveways and play surfaces, and outdated learning spaces from the 1950s and 1960s.

    Review the complete list of the proposed work here.

    Take a Photo Tour of the Proposed Work

    Why Now?

    There is currently a small window of opportunity in which to present the voters with a $22 million tax-neutral project. This is possible because of State Aid, retiring debt, and funds saved in the voter-approved Capital Reserve. Approximately $0.66 of every dollar will be reimbursed by New York State through Building Aid, reducing the local share of the cost. Payments for existing debt from past projects are nearing completion, allowing the new project to replace current debt. Finally, after applying $395,390 that is saved in the District’s Capital Reserve, the budget increase related to the project would be neutralized.

    It is important to note that the mechanisms available in the budget for funding debt related to facilities may not be applied to offset costs in other areas of the budget. This means that building aid, facilities debt, and Capital Reserve savings can only be used to address facilities conditions and cannot help preserve programming or staffing.

    In the event of system failure, however, emergency repairs may need to be addressed through the operating budget, and would not qualify for State Aid reimbursement, resulting in 100 percent of the cost falling to the local taxpayer and possibly diverting funding from programs. Emergency repairs also tend to be more expensive and can result in building closure and lost instructional time while being addressed in an unplanned manner

    The District’s in-house buildings and grounds team has done a phenomenal job keeping systems operational, in many cases well beyond their useful life. However, building needs have now reached a point that it is no longer prudent to continue investing time and funds into repairing antiquated items. In many cases parts are obsolete. In other instances, a system failure could result in additional damage, further increasing costs.

    How was the work identified?

    One of the priorities assigned to Superintendent Kirk Reinhardt when he was hired a little over a year ago was to address the needs of our aging buildings and outdated infrastructure in order to ensure our staff and students have a safe, healthy, and functional school environment. The District’s architects and construction management team were assembled, and a thorough review of the existing buildings’ conditions was conducted. A Community Capital Project Review Committee, which is a group of stakeholders representing a diverse group of community interests, was assembled and asked to examine the project and offer feedback on the proposed work, including helping to prioritize which items to include in the tax-neutral project. Throughout this process, there have been extensive conversations about facilities planning for the future. This project addresses the highest priorities and was the first step in developing a strategic plan to address long-term facility needs.

    For More Information

    It is important to us that you have the information you need to participate in the December 15 project vote. Please do not hesitate to email us at capitalproject@saugerties.k12.ny.us with any questions you have.

    Join Us
    The District will host another presentation on the Capital Project on Tuesday, December 1 at 6 PM. Check back for more details about this meeting.