PB authorizes $53 million capital project

By Laura Fitzgerald
Posted 4/3/19

The Pine Bush School board authorized a $53.98 million capital project for a public vote at its regularly scheduled meeting on March 26.

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PB authorizes $53 million capital project

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The Pine Bush School board authorized a $53.98 million capital project for a public vote at its regularly scheduled meeting on March 26.

Assistant Superintendent of Business Michael Pacella presented the project, which is broken up into two propositions: the base scope, costing $44.88 million, and the athletic scope, costing $9.1 million.

The base contains much-needed building maintenance and safety measures, such as secure vestibules; window, brick and roof replacements; parking lot repaving; air handling unit renovations and repairs, and more.

The athletic scope includes improvements such as a new scoreboard and a new bullpen at EJ Russell Elementary School; a new multi-use synthetic turf field and a new eight-lane track at the high school; a new natural turf athletic field with six-lane track at Circleville Middle School, and more.

The base scope can pass on its own, while the athletic scope can only pass if voters also approve the base scope.

After state aid and the $7.5 million in the capital reserve fund are applied to the project, the local share for both propositions would only be $5.3 million, or $957,000 more per year, a 1.36 percent increase.

With both propositions, a homeowner whose current tax bill is $3,000 would owe $41 more per year, or $3.42 per month. A homeowner whose current bill is $10,000 would owe $55 more per year, or $11.42 per month.

The local share for only the base proposition would be $3.2 million, or an average annual tax increase of more than $707,000, a 1 percent increase.

With the base proposition, a homeowner whose current tax bill is $3,000 would owe $30 more per year, or $2.5 per month. A homeowner whose current tax bill is $10,000 would owe $100 more per year, or $8.33 per month.

This final proposal is a 27 percent decrease in the base scope and a 39 percent decrease in the athletic scope from the first $76.7 million facilities modernization plan proposed last year, which was rejected by voters in December.

The athletic scope was increased by $2.6 million after the March 19 proposal, when the board decided to add an eight-lane track and synthetic turf field at the high school football field.

“It’s the right move and I’m glad you guys made that decision,” Pacella said.
If passed, the district hopes to start construction in June 2020.

“It’s a very aggressive schedule but we’re hoping it can be done,” Pacella said.

The capital project will be up for a vote with the school budget on May 21.

Residents of Shawangunk and Gardiner may vote at the Walker Valley Firehouse, Crawford and Montgomery residents at the Pine Bush Fire House (Station One), Mount Hope and Wallkill residents at the Circleville Evangelical Presbyterian Church, and Mamakating residents at the Town of Mamakating Park in Bloomingburg.

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