The Clarkstown Central School District is providing more
details about the $6.5 million bond proposed for repairs to the now closed
Congers Elementary School and will share details of a proposed student realignment
at Thursday’s board of education meeting. The bond, scheduled for a February 4th
vote, would cost the average homeowner $26 yearly without state aid and $10
annually with state aid. The state education department denied Clarkstown’s application
for funding on Monday but the district has appealed that ruling.
On Thursday, School Superintendent Dr. J. Thomas Morton will present a proposed redistricting plan for Congers students that would transfer them to the New City and Lakewood elementary schools whether the bond passes or not. Congers’ approximately 300 students have been attending classes in the former St. Augustine’s School in New City since mid October. Dr. Morton said he does not think the district should spend the additional funds to rent St. Augustine’s again and repairs to Congers Elementary would take many months.
His proposal to the school board would eliminate eight teaching positions because it will reduce the number of elementary classes.
Currently there are 45 (classes) in the three buildings,” Dr. Morton said. “With this proposal there will be 37 (classes) in two buildings.”
After Congers Elementary was closed in late August because it was determined to be structurally unsafe, students were initially reassigned to the New City, Lakewood and Laurel Plains elementary schools but kept in separate classes. Under the superintendent’s recommendation they would become part of the general student body at the two schools.
Dr. Morton emphasized his proposal is limited to Congers elementary students.
“Nobody from New City (elementary) is moving,” he said. “Nobody from Lakewood (elementary) is moving.”
The proposal has not yet been discussed with the Clarkstown Teachers Association.
Whether the bond is approved or not, it is likely there will be redistricting in Clarkstown because of decreasing enrollment.
“But in terms of capacity we have capacity to keep students in less buildings than we have,” said Dr. Morton.
He will explain at the meeting his recommendation for how many students from each grade would attend each school. The proposal is designed to keep siblings and children from the same neighborhood together.
The district scheduled a forum on the bond proposal for Thursday, Jan. 23 at 8 p.m. at the district office at 62 Old Middletown Road in New City. The public vote on the $6.5 million bond is set for Tuesday, Feb. 4 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at four polling locations. The homeowner costs for the bond are based on an average assessed home value of $140,000 and approximate market value of $440,000. The term of the bond would depend on whether the district received state aid or not. The bond would be issued for 15 years without state aid. If the district’s appeal for state aid is successful, the bond would be issued for 30 years.
A flyer prepared by the district and distributed Wednesday breaks down the costs of the school’s repairs and reconstruction into categories.
Reconstruction of the original 1927 building gym walls would cost $1,586,753. It would involve removal and reconstruction of the south and west side gym walls and structural repair of the east side gym wall. The reconstruction of the original 1927 north and east side exterior walls would run $3,056,202.
Removal and reconstruction of the north and east wall sections of the original 1927 building requires roof replacement at a cost of $933,604. The roofs on the 1956 and 1970 sections of the building would also be replaced.
Installation of ADA accessibility upgrades for the main school entrance, main floor bathroom facilities and one main floor mid-corridor ramp carry a price tag of $350,000.
Window replacements in the portions of the building constructed in 1956 and 1970 are expected to cost $573,441.
On February 4th, District 1 voters will cast ballots at Clarkstown North, District 2 at Lakewood Elementary School, District 3 at Link Elementary School and District 4 at West Nyack Elementary School. Absentee ballot applications can be obtained online at www.ccsd.edu or by calling or visiting the district clerk’s office at 845-639-6455 or 62 Old Middletown Road.
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