What’s Necessary vs. What Would be Nice. In speaking with the Tarrytowns’ new Superintendent of Schools, Chris Clouet, he was fairly confident that the School Board would approve a roughly ten million dollar proposition to be put to the voters on December 10. This proposition is over and above the School Budget for 2013-2014 which voters will either accept or reject in May of 2014.
The newly proposed Capital Project for the Public Schools of The Tarrytowns could cost the Village taxpayers up to $9.9 million.
The community was invited to a public forum at John Paulding School on September 19. Most of the discussion centered around the possibility of a new turf field, however, most of the money for this project would go to things much less glamorous, like roof repair and gas lines, said Clouet. “There’s a strong possibility we will offer two options [in the proposition],” he added.
Option A would include improvements to all of the Village’s school buildings and athletic facilities, with one new turf field at Sleepy Hollow.
Option B would include all of Option A with the addition of a second turf field at Washington Irving School.
The idea of adding a turf field or two to the public school system isn’t new. An additional field was discussed in 2008, but not passed. According to the new Superintendent it’s a good time begin the new field project and the building improvements because the economy is currently in a “good climate” for issuing bonds. “This is good money management in the sense that this is the best time to borrow money, given the low interest rates,” said Clouet. “This is prudent fiscal management.” Clouet compared issuing a bond to paying a car loan. “If you buy a car, would you prefer to pay 2% interest on your car loan or 7%?”
Present at the public forum in September were community members who were not pleased about all of the changes proposed, and the costs related to them. Questions arose about the number of changes and if they were all necessary. Board member Paul Rode is the facilities chairperson for the project, and said that the basic repairs to the buildings are needed. These repairs will help “children to study in a calm and safe atmosphere,” added Clouet. Other improvements, like an elevator at the Morse School, are being proposed to upgrade the school. “Times have changed,” said Clouet. “In the time when [Morse School] was built, children with disabilities weren’t really on the radar.” Clouet also said that moving the school from oil to gas will help cut costs in the long run.
If the proposition is passed, some believe it will dramatically improve life, not just for the students at these schools, but for the community at large, as well. The fields are open for everyone to use, so a new field will take away some of the pressure from the sports programs to give field time to each sport, while still leaving time for the rest of the community to use the fields. Clouet explained that there are adult leagues and adults who want to keep fit who also use the fields.
[blockquote class=blue] However, not everyone is supportive of this referendum. “I don’t want to be dismissive of the reality that there are many different viewpoints,” said Clouet[/blockquote]
The other school improvements will also help enhance the Villages as a whole, Clouet feels. “Having a school system that has a good infrastructure is a positive influence on housing prices and attracts young people to the area,” he said. “Many people choose Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow because of the quality of the schools and we need to maintain that.”
However, not everyone is supportive of this referendum. “I don’t want to be dismissive of the reality that there are many different viewpoints,” said Clouet. “Somewhere between not doing anything and doing more, there is a middle-of-the-road approach and I am hopeful that the community will see value in this approach.”
Information from the October 26, 2012 Building Committee Project Spreadsheet
|Option A *|
|Field and Athletic Improvements||Sleepy Hollow High School||$1,427,500|
|Maintenance and Improvements||High School Multipurpose Building||$1,100,000|
|Elevator||Morse, Sleepy Hollow High School||$790,000|
|Masonry||Morse, Washington Irving, Administration Building||$187,000|
|Gas Service||Washington Irving||$150,000|
|Total (Including Contingency, Bond Counsel & AE Fees, and Inflation Factor)||$8,058,638|
|Option B *|
|All of Option A||See Above||$8,058,638|
|Additional Turf Field and Fencing||Washington Irving||$1,300,000|
|Total (Including Contingency, Bond Counsel & AE Fees, and Inflation Factor)||$9,716,138|
Information from the October 13, 2013 Building Committee Project Spreadsheet
|Public Schools of The Tarrytowns|
|Proposed Capital Project||SAMPLE #1|
|Morse, WI, Admin||Masonry||$187,000|
|Morse, HS||3 Level Exterior Elevator w/|
|interior lift (Morse) & Refurbish|
|Morse||Ventilation (Roof Top Exhaust)||$150,000|
|HS Athletic Facility||Turf Field, Goal Posts, Perimeter||$1,427,500|
|Fencing (Football Area) Plus Sod|
|Replacement and Irrigation for|
|HS Multi-Purpose Bldg||House Trans, Maint. Concession||$1,100,000|
|Stand & Athletic Storage|
|Bond Counsel & AE Fees||0.10||$632,050|
|Total Option A||$8,058,638|
|OPTION B||B. includes all of OPTION A|
|WI||Additional Turf Field & Fencing||$1,300,000|
|Bond Counsel & AE Fees||0.10||$130,000|
|Total Option B||$1,657,500|
[blockquote class=blue]Click here to download a PDF of the T.U.F.S.D Capital Projects Presentation[/blockquote]
[blockquote class=blue]Click here to download the 2013 Project Spreadsheet (.xls)[/blockquote]