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Board adopts Dec. 5 capital project referendum

Fayetteville-Manlius School District residents will soon have the opportunity to vote on a long-discussed capital project that addresses critical infrastructure needs with a focus on health, safety and energy efficiency districtwide.

During its Sept. 11 meeting, the F-M Board of Education approved a $45.2 million capital project proposal that includes renovations, repairs and additions at Wellwood Middle School, Fayetteville-Manlius High School and Enders Road Elementary School – the three schools identified by architects and engineers in a 2015 state-required building condition survey as having the greatest needs. In addition, the scope of work includes projects in each of the district’s six schools that would generate future energy savings

The proposal’s projected tax levy increase is 1.11 percent, which is lower than district officials previously thought. The associated tax rate increase is projected to be $28 for each $100,000 of assessed value for a home located in the town of Manlius, which makes up the largest portion of the district. Taxpayers in the other five towns within the district would see similar tax rates.

District residents will vote on the plan 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 5, 2017, at Fayetteville Elementary School.

“This proposal is the culmination of several years of research that has included building infrastructure needs assessments, cost analysis and long-range instructional planning,” F-M Superintendent Craig Tice said. “The board is ready to take the next step and ask residents to consider a proposal that would improve all of F-M’s schools.”

Funding the Project

Throughout the district’s research process, lessening taxpayer impact has been a priority for board members and district officials.

Elements of the $45.2 million proposal would be eligible for state building aid, and the district currently has an aid ratio of 75.3 percent for approved expenses – meaning the state would reimburse the district for more than 75 percent of eligible repairs and construction.

F-M Assistant Superintendent for Business Services William Furlong said the district would use $9.42 million from a 2013 voter-approved capital reserve fund to reduce the total amount the district would finance.

Because a portion of the proposal includes a $3,147,273 energy performance contract (EPC), if it is approved by voters, the district would receive the same amount of building aid, 75.3 percent, on the energy related-project work as it would on the other projects in the plan.

Incorporating the EPC into the capital project proposal would also enable the district to use bond financing instead of lease financing, which would further reduce taxpayer cost because there would be a competitive bid process for the interest rate.

Overall, by bundling the energy savings work within the capital project proposal, the district estimates a savings of $873,603 that would result from higher building aid and lower financing costs.

To review the facility project planning process to date and weigh in, visit the F-M Let’s Talk! web page at www.fmschools.org/let’stalk.

“This proposal addresses the most critical needs identified by consultants, our architects and engineers and the community and our staff,” Dr. Tice said. “Once this project is underway, we will begin looking at other facility needs districtwide so that we continue to ensure that our students are learning in the best possible environments.”

Project Proposal Scope and Estimated Costs

Enders Road Elementary School – $3.0 million

  • Construct a multiple-classroom addition, adding three large classrooms, two small classrooms (for occupational and physical therapy spaces) and restrooms to be used during recess.
  • Renovate existing locker rooms into instructional space.
  • Renovate six small classrooms into three age-appropriate classrooms.
  • Replace obstructed sanitary line located under floor slab.

Fayetteville-Manlius High School – $4.1 million

  • Upgrade some restrooms.
  • Renovate and expand library media center.
  • Renovate central kitchen area into academic support spaces.

Wellwood Middle School – $34.9 million

Spring 2020

  • Begin constructing additional parking lot and bus loop.
  • Begin constructing a building addition that will relocate the school’s kitchen, cafeteria, and music suite from the basement and features a secure, new main entrance area and office.

Summer 2020

  • Complete construction of additional parking lot and continue construction of building addition.
  • Set up to eight portable classrooms on school grounds.
  • Infill existing cafeteria floor (opposite the main office).
  • Abatement and renovation of existing basement and boiler room.
  • Begin interior renovations.

School Year 2020-21

  • Complete construction of building addition (March 2021).
  • Use portable classrooms as teaching spaces.
  • Finish basement for use as a swing space.

Summer 2021

  • Abate and renovate infrastructure of building’s 1933 south wing portion (including mechanical systems and windows) and abate asbestos.
  • Move into the new addition (school’s kitchen, cafeteria and music suite).

School Year 2021-22

  • Complete the renovation of building’s 1933 south wing portion.
  • Use portable classrooms as teaching spaces.

Summer 2022

  • Abate and renovate infrastructure of building’s 1933 north wing portion (including mechanical systems, windows and roof).
  • Remove portable classrooms.

School Year 2022-23

  • Complete the renovation of building’s 1930 north wing portion.

Energy Performance Contract – $3.2 million

  • Boiler replacements
  • Lighting improvements
  • Heating system controls
  • More energy efficient pumps
  • Building insulation