According to The Columbia Paper, CHATHAM – On December 13, the Board of Education adopted a proposed capital improvement project for the Chatham Central School District.
The district is proposing this project to improve its educational facilities and address issues with aging infrastructure. Just like any property, schools need regular upkeep and infrastructure upgrades if they are to continue to serve the needs of students and the community effectively. As a capital project, the work is eligible for 49.6% state aid, which significantly reduces the project’s impact on local property taxes. For every dollar the district spends it would get approximately 50 cents back in state building aid.
“This project represents an important moment for Chatham. Along with keeping our buildings operating safely and efficiently, it is an opportunity to make our facilities future ready and advance our instructional programs,” said Chatham Superintendent Sal DeAngelo.
The 2023 Capital Improvement Project proposal includes two propositions that will go before voters with a special elections held on Tuesday, February 14 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the MED Elementary School gym.
Proposition #1 will ask voters to decide on a $18,218,595 proposal to shore up aging infrastructure, improve classroom and community spaces, and address safety, security, and health concerns. The work would take place at Chatham High School, Mary E. Dardess Elementary School, Chatham Middle School, and the district’s bus garage. The district would apply $8,434,944 in capital reserves (which voters approved the creation of in previous years) and issue bonds to pay for the remainder of the costs. This portion of the project would require an estimated property tax increase of $7.79 per $100,000 of assessed property value. For example, a home valued at $300,000 would see property taxes increase by approximately $23.37. Proposition #1 is a stand-alone project.
Proposition #2 will ask voters to decide on a $3,879,600 proposal to install air conditioning throughout Mary E. Dardess Elementary School to improve air quality in terms of temperature, humidity, and filtration. The district would issue bonds to pay for this portion of the project, which would require a separate, additional tax increase estimated to be $9.36 cents per $100,000 of assessed property value, or $28.08 for a home valued at $300,000.
Proposition #2 is dependent on Proposition #1 and would only pass if voters approve both Proposition #1 and Proposition #2.
For details about the project, visit the 2023 Capital Project page found on the district’s website www.chathamcentralschools.com. The district will be providing residents with additional information, including a video and newsletter, in the coming weeks