October 27, 2015
Several of the more than a dozen community members, parents, staff and students who attended the Capital Project Community Forum on October 13 brought up issues that the school district's architects will study more before asking the Board of Education to approve a final project proposal.
Better field drainage and parking at the elementary school was brought up by parents as an issue that should be addressed in the approximately $14 million project.
The Board of Education will consider some of those revisions to the original proposal at its Tuesday, November 17 meeting. Plans call for a public hearing to be held on Tuesday, January 5 and a community vote on Tuesday, January 12.
Ellen Bruns, an associate with the BCK-IBI Architectural Group, and Dan Whelan, an associate director at the BCK-IBI Architectural Group, made the detailed presentations of the proposed project. View or download the original presentation here (PDF). They said they would study different architectural designs to accommodate those and other concerns brought up during discussions.
The current timeline for the project shows the Board of Education formally accepting a proposal in November and a community vote would be scheduled in January. The approximately $14 million project would raise taxes on a home assessed at $100,000 by $75 per year (or $8.33 per month). After savings from the state's Basic STAR or Enhanced STAR program, the annual cost would be an estimated $53 and $27 per year, respectively.
The project would be repaid over the next 16 years.
Whelan noted that Mayfield is eligible to receive $840,880 under the New York State Smart Schools Bond Act proposal, money that does not have to be repaid. In this project, that money would be used to pay for Public Address system and notification system upgrades, security upgrades, a district "pass-key" badge system for staff to enter buildings, fire alarm and energy upgrades and district-wide wireless Wi-Fi upgrades.
If approved by the community in January, most of the work would be done in the summer of 2017, Bruns and Whelan said. However, some architectural-only items, like replacing roofs and site work, may be able to be done during the summer of 2016 because they require a shorter state Education Department review.
During breakout groups in the high school cafeteria on October 13, several issues were mentioned: the issue of bathroom doors between the elementary school classrooms that do not lock, problems with bees and wood chips on the elementary playground, the orientation of fields in the athletics proposal and storage for high school band equipment were all discussed during the two-hour session.
More than a year in the making
The proposed project was developed after several sessions with the facilities committee over the past year, beginning under former Interim Superintendent A. Paul Scott. The October 13 community forum was the latest public outreach about the proposal.
Superintendent Jon Peterson said many of the items in the proposed project that are in need of improvement came from a state-mandated building condition survey done through the BCK-IBI Group. As well, surveys were done of staff and students to determine issues that needed improvement.
"The projects in this proposal are no different than we do in our own homes," Peterson told the group. "A roof only last so long before it has to be replaced. That is similar to many of the things in here."
He noted how most people have transitioned from incandescent light bulbs to either fluorescent or LED light bulbs to save money on electricity. "That is what we need to do here as well," he said.
Roofs at both schools, which are either nearing or beyond their useful life, would be replaced under this proposal. Board members must decide whether to replace them with 20-year or higher-priced 30-year roofs.
"Most of what is in here are
upgrades and things we need to do for the safety of the
children," said Board of Education member Kevin
Capobianco. "We on the school board are focused on a
project that meets our expectations."
Capobianco and Board of Education Vice President Robert Suits met with participants in the small group discussions in the cafeteria for about 45 minutes.
Specifics of the plan
The $7.8 million proposal for the high school calls for renovating the Distance Learning, Home and Careers and Art classrooms at the high school as well as the Committee on Special Education (CSE) office. In addition, the boiler, elevator and some flooring would be replaced at the high school and a centralized Junior/Senior High School office with a secure vestibule in which visitors enter directly into the office. Here is a specific list of high school/junior high school improvements (PDF).
At the elementary school, the plan would spend $5.6 million to install an 8-foot wide walkway around the building, replace corridor flooring, create a centralized office with a secure vestibule in which visitors enter directly into the office and add parking spaces. Here is a specific list of elementary school improvements (PDF).
A large share of the project focuses on safety, with items like cameras, carbon monoxide detectors and fire and emergency systems being updated. In addition, health and safety items like upgrading electrical and lighting systems and air handling units in classrooms would be part of the project.
Athletics would also get a boost through the project. Board members are studying two athletic options:
• Option 1 would improve drainage and grass at the softball and modified soccer fields, re-lamp existing field lighting, expand softball and baseball dugouts, replace sand in the baseball infield, replace practice field netting and add handicapped-accessible walkways, parking, restrooms and concessions at the softball field.
• Option 2 would improve drainage and grass at the softball and modified soccer fields, replace practice soccer field netting, improve baseball and softball infields, improve lighting, backstops and dugouts, expand modified softball dugouts and add handicapped-accessible walkways, parking, restrooms and a concessions at the softball field.
At the bus maintenance facility, the project would spend $110,500 to upgrade the heating oil tank and fuel oil piping, improve the sidewalks and replace the floor grates in the bus wash area. Another $40,000 would be spent at the bus storage building up upgrade electrical panels and lighting and replace windows. Here is a specific list of bus maintenance and bus storage improvements (PDF).
Check out a few photos from the breakout discussion groups. Click on the photo to enlarge it.