Every 5 years each school district in NYS is required to conduct an overall scope of necessary repairs needed to its buildings. The latest survey at VC was conducted in 2022 and found $172.5 Million in needed repairs. It would be too overwhelming to attempt to conduct all the needed repairs all at once. Instead, the needs are prioritized determining the most pressing needs structurally and educationally. Valley Central plans to have smaller capital projects as the capital fund reserve reaches its established limit, and as debt service is satisfied.
Five lists of projects were created from the survey which was prioritized by educational and structural need. The first two lists of projects were presented at the January 9th BOE meeting along with a presentation from the district’s financial advisors to address funding the projects.
A capital reserve fund was established by the Board of Education and passed by the voters to have a fund to take care of small projects as needed and create a base of funds to be used on capital projects. The limit established on this reserve is $10 million dollars which means that it must be spent when it reaches its limit.
At Valley Central, the rate of State Aid return on Capital Projects has been about 70% by a conservative estimate. This means that for every $1 of a capital project about 70 cents is given to the district in state aid to fund it, leaving 30 cents of each dollar as the local share.
The Board of Education met on January 30, 2023 at 5:30 PM to discuss the proposed Capital Project (2023-2024).
Tom Ritzenthaler from CS Arch, the District’s architect, along with Bill Devine and Lou Rodriguez, from The Palombo Group, the District’s Construction Managers attended the meeting to present some design revisions and answer any questions. Superintendent Evette Avila, School Business Official Brad Conklin, Director of Facilities, Ryan Schmidt also made recommendations and answered questions. The meeting was attended by Berea Principal, John Solimando, WES Principal Greg Heideman, HS Principal Russ Burns, ALC Administrator Georgia Patchen and Director of Security and Safety, Steve Ragni who also answered questions posed by the BOE members.
Discussion ensued at the meeting covering the topics of secured vestibules, boiler replacements, cooling zones, unit ventilators, and high school science labs. There was also discussion regarding tax impact under various project possibilities as well as a study of the debt service of the district.
The BOE is expected to continue the discussion of capital project possibilities when they meet for their next regular meeting on Monday, February 13th at 7:00 PM when the second Budget Presentation for 2023-24 will also be given.