Fayetteville-Manlius School District residents will have the opportunity tomorrow, Tuesday, Dec. 7, to vote on a proposed capital project that is focused on modernizing and expanding F-M High School, the district’s only high school.
“While we were able to renovate and expand the high school’s Library Media Center as part of the 2017 project, as well as some student restrooms, the bulk of the high school has not received upgrades since its original 1960s construction,” Superintendent Craig J. Tice said.
The 2017 capital improvement project was an important step forward, but it represents only a fraction of the district’s overall facilities needs as indicated by the district’s 2015 New York State Building Condition Survey, Tice said.
“We know our facilities needs have only continued to grow since 2015,” Tice said. “Like a home, as our schools age, they require repairs: infrastructure becomes outdated and must be replaced and with evolving educational program needs comes new demands for updated or new academic spaces.”
Staying on top of those needs is critical so as to not let small issues grow into larger, more challenging and more expensive problems to solve, he said. In addition, the educational landscape is continuously evolving and calling for school spaces to be used in different ways than they were decades ago.
The proposed $52 million high school capital improvement project that residents will vote on 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 7 at Fayetteville Elementary School would allow for programmatic upgrades and improvements, a better connection between the school’s House 1 and 2, centralization of administrators’ and counseling offices, improved heating and ventilation throughout the school and renovations to portions of the building to better meet students’ needs.
The proposal aligns with the district’s 2020-23 Strategic Plan, which includes a focus on capital projects that improve learning spaces, building security and accessibility and ensuring that district facilities are responsive to contemporary teaching and learning needs.
The technology classrooms proposed for the high school science wing addition would have higher ceilings than the typical classroom to allow for flexibility in how those rooms could be used for years to come. In addition, the renovations to the cafeteria would transform it and the area around it into a multipurpose hub that could be used for a variety of social, extracurricular and instructional purposes in addition to improving pedestrian traffic flow between House 1 and House 2.
“We’re always looking to the future while planning what capital projects to focus on next,” Tice said. “We want to make sure that we are asking our taxpayers to make investments in our schools that will solve current challenges while being flexible enough to accommodate programmatic changes that may be coming down the road.”