The Clarence Board of Education has established a Facilities Committee with the specific charge of examining capital improvement needs across the district. The committee will determine if a capital project is needed and make recommendations on the scope of the project back to the Board of Education in May of this year.
The thirteen members of the Facilities Committee have met twice, once in February and the most recently in March. The starting point for deliberations is the Building Condition Survey, a mandatory document produced every five years that lists prioritized elements in each of the school buildings that are past their useful life cycle, need repair or replacement, and/or fail to meet current code requirements. The committee has examined photographs of the areas highlighted in the Building Condition Survey along with the cost estimates for renovation.
The committee has also reviewed the current debt schedule for the district. Significant debt from a prior capital project will be fully paid in 2021 thereby allowing a new capital project to be bonded without increasing the tax levy. One debt payment would be replaced with another as long as the total project does not exceed $24 million. New York State will provide state aid for approximately 67 percent of the project. In order to qualify for the 67 percent state aid reimbursement, voters in a school district must approve the borrowing of funds, which are then paid back over 15 years
Most of the items in the proposed capital project would encompass general “fix-it” items that are past their useful life, such as roofing, HVAC, electrical, flooring, masonry, and concrete/paving at building sites. Bringing restroom and other areas up to new code requirements will also be included.
There has also been discussion regarding improving safety by reconfiguring the entry ways to each of the schools in order to create a secure area for checking identification before entering the buildings. Making needed repairs and upgrades to the high school and middle school auditoriums, constructing a wash bay at the bus garage, renovating locker rooms and team rooms at the sports complex and a new space for the Family Support Center are also being considered.
Community members can download presentations, view cost analysis worksheets, and examine specific work that potentially could be included in the project by visiting this web page: https://www.clarenceschools.org/domain/937.
Geoffrey M. Hicks, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools