On Monday, October 30, residents of the William Floyd community will have the opportunity to vote on a $39.4 million capital project proposal, which if approved, can transform our schools and community. Highlights include much-needed repairs and upgrades throughout all of our buildings, revamped secondary school auditoriums for music and theater students, a centrally-located adaptive playground, air conditioning in the three elementary buildings that currently do not have it and new multi-purpose athletic fields for ALL of our outdoor girls and boys student athletes and community groups!
This project will be at NO ADDITIONAL COST to taxpayers!
Please see a list of “Frequently Asked Questions” below. If you have additional questions, or need clarification, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you.
Why is the district pursuing a capital project at this time?
The William Floyd School District is committed to providing a safe learning environment and well-maintained facilities for students and public use. Just as one’s home ages and needs upkeep and repairs to keep it in good shape, so do our schools. Many routine repairs and projects are funded within the annual district budget, with local taxpayers bearing the full cost. Larger work items and safety concerns would have a greater impact on everyone’s taxes if they were to be included in the annual district budget. However, a capital project bond issue results in a much lower tax impact and is a fiscally responsible alternative because the state reimburses a large percentage of the cost.
What is the scope of this project?
This project will cover all aspects of infrastructure repairs and upgrades, including various building repairs, air conditioning in the three elementary school buildings that are currently without to provide more comfortable buildings during the late months of spring and early months of fall, upgraded secondary school auditoriums for music and theater students, a centrally-located fully adaptive playground, as well as upgrades to our athletic fields and facilities for all of our student athletes and community. Please see page three of the brochure for additional details. Click here for a video showing the highlights of the project. Please note that air conditioning repairs at William Paca Middle School are not included in the capital project as they are being repaired through the district’s Energy Performance Contract with Ecosystem, a company that helps districts leverage funds from energy savings to reinvest in schools.
How much is it going to cost for local taxpayers?
There is no additional tax impact. State Building aid will cover this project at a rate of almost 88% (87.9 cents per one dollar) coupled with the voter approved Capital Reserve fund of $5 million (voter approved in May 2016 and already collected in taxes) covering the rest; this proposed capital project will go out to voters at a zero additional tax impact.
Isn’t State Building Aid just my tax dollars too?
Yes, it is. The New York State Legislature has given all districts in the state an opportunity to use tax dollars to enhance their communities through school building improvements and renovations. This is an opportunity to keep some of those tax dollars in our own community, working to improve the educational setting for our children and the public.
How will contractors be selected to build the project?
The project must be contracted utilizing State of New York competitive bidding laws. Essentially, this requires that each project: 1) be divided into at least four prime contracts (general construction, mechanical, electrical and plumbing); 2) utilize the NYS Department of Labor prevailing wage rate; and, 3) be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder.
Why is a synthetic turf field being considered?
The benefits of synthetic turf include significantly increased use by all boys and girls sports teams, gym classes and by the community; less maintenance time and water usage, and; increased playability even in the most extreme weather conditions. More and more school districts throughout the state are providing synthetic turf fields for student and community use.
If approved, how long will the project take to complete?
If the capital project is approved, design documents will be sent to the New York State Education Department, which would provide approvals in anywhere from 40-60 weeks. The first project could begin at some point in the summer or fall of 2018, with final completion taking anywhere from 36-48 months.
What happens if the State reduces NYS Building Aid? Will the taxpayers be on the hook for the full cost?
Historically, during times of economic downturn, NYS has not reduced school district building aid payments. All capital projects require resident voter approval for projects outlined in the “scope of work,” which includes total expenditures to complete these projects. Prior to starting any of these projects, the district is required to get New York State approval to begin construction which includes the amount that they are committing to pay toward these projects. We do not anticipate any reductions in state building aid.
What happens if the project costs more than the $39.4 million voted upon?
By law, the district is only allowed to spend what the residents give them permission to spend, it cannot exceed the amount the voters approved.