Watkins outlines new capital project
WATKINS GLEN--Watkins Glen Central School district residents will vote on a proposed $12.64 million capital project on March 28. The district says the project will have no increased tax impact. If the project is approved, the district expects 80.9 percent of the cost to be paid for by state aid with an additional $1.4 million coming from the capital reserve fund. The remainder of new debt will coincide with the payoff of a previous $36 million project resulting in no tax increase related to the proposed project.
The project has been organized into four phases with work beginning in spring 2018 and completing in fall 2023. The project addresses repairs and renovations throughout the campus with district wide roofing renovations and repairs high on the agenda. Jerry Harriger, superintendent of building and grounds related that some of the roofing needs are immediate but are covered under current warranty. He is working closely with the contractors to resolve those issues. While the elementary school, built in 1951, is a majority of the project focus, both schools would receive new internet protocol (IP) paging, master clock systems, classroom safety enhancements, and studio improvements.
The elementary school project calls for the renovation of some classrooms, replacement of non-code compliant doors, new wall tile in the corridor, repair of interior and exterior masonry, replacement of casework in some classrooms, new exterior concrete stairs at the mechanical room, upgrades and replacements in the kitchen and auditorium, upgraded office ventilation, renovations in the gymnasium, improvements to the nursing suite and replacement of the floor finish in the library and kindergarten corridor. The high school plan includes the replacement of the boiler pump and the pool filtration equipment while the bus garage would obtain a new vehicle lift.
The final phase of the project, at an estimated cost of $3.65 million, includes extensive updates and changes to the athletic fields and recreation areas. The plan highlights synthetic turf for the football, baseball and softball fields. Superintendent Tom Phillips explained that the current fields were built on a Department of Transportation dump and that the proximity to the canal causes drainage issues. The artificial surfaces would solve the problem of unsafe and unplayable fields. With the addition of basketball courts, updated exterior lighting, an additional tennis court and playground surfacing, the campus would serve as a community center. Voters will go to the polls March 28.
In other business, the board accepted the June 30 resignation, into retirement, of elementary school teacher Patricia Smith. The board appointed Kelly Sterner and Rod Weeden as varsity track and field coaches and Maria Quagliana as the modified track and field coach. Chip Dunham was appointed assistant varsity lacrosse coach and Chris Clarkson was appointed modified volunteer coach. Colin Pritchard was appointed as modified tennis coach.
The next meeting is a budget workshop scheduled for March 6 at 5:45 p.m.