Remsenburg’s school district just got a whole lot safer.
Residents voted 118-21 October 23 to approve a $3,365,300 bond proposition to fund repairs and equipment replacement that will address safety issues and meet current building code compliance in the Remsenburg-Speonk Union Free School District.
“This was an important vote for the future of our school district and our community,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ronald Masera. “Thank you to all residents who participated in this vote. Now, with the community’s continued support, we can address the exterior and interior repairs and renovations needed to provide our children with a quality education in a safe and secure environment.”
A total of $458,658 in community-approved capital reserve funds will be used to reduce the amount borrowed to $2,906,642. The average tax increase is approximately $87 per year or approximately $7.25 per month.
The proposed scope of work was developed following the results of a building conditions survey conducted by the district’s architect and recommendations from the site-based advisory team including parents, community residents, members of the board of education, administration, and staff. The Remsenburg-Speonk Elementary School is 52 years old and has been regularly maintained by the district’s buildings and grounds crew, seeing $800,000 of repair work done since 2011, none coming at any additional cost to taxpayers, according to the district. This included the installation of a security vestibule in the front lobby; security camera installation and a fully integrated fire/smoke/burglary system, including panic buttons and keyless entry; a full boiler replacement; creation of a new STREAM lab; refurbishment of the library; concrete repairs throughout the campus; and complete replacement of asphalt in the playground.
The bond will fund repairs and replacement of equipment that has outlived its life expectancy, is no longer cost-efficient or reliable, impacts safety and security, or does not comply with the latest codes. These items were too costly to include in the annual budget, and the approved bond will enable the district to take advantage of current favorable interest rates based on the district’s strong credit rating and New York State Building Aid.
The work will be done in two phases to be scheduled with the least impact to the learning environment, while maintaining a safe and secure environment. It will also end up being more time-efficient and cost-effective. Phase one will be done in summer 2019, and includes a full roof replacement and masonry repairs. Phase two will take place in summer 2020 and include interior improvements comprised of HVAC upgrades; ceiling and lighting replacement; flooring replacement; window repairs and replacements; and parking lot repairs.
“Stewardship of the school building is our important responsibility,” Board of Education President Deirdre DeVita said. “The building is a valuable community asset, and its integrity is a vital factor in the wellbeing and success of our students and staff. While many repairs and renovations have been completed since 2011, this bond will enable us to expedite the remaining repairs in a way that is fiscally responsible for our community. On behalf of the Board of Education, thank you for your support.”