WELLS - Wells Central School District voters will go to the polls Aug. 13 to cast ballots on a proposed $942,800 building project.
Of the total, $688,800 or 73 percent is to add security measures and $254,000 or 27 percent is for other needs, such as replacing the loading dock and the gym lighting. Both date to when the school opened 49 years ago, in September of 1964.
Bernard P. Donegan Inc. in Victor, which will provide the financial services associated with the project, has pointed out the timing is good, since the 1998 addition project will be paid off as this one is activated.
According to Nick Waer and Marty Weber of Mosaic Associates Architects, Albany, the state Education Department will fund projects that address health and safety at an additional 10 percent above normal building aid. Wells' building aid is currently at 35 percent; items that are security-related are eligible for 45 percent state funding.
Except that may not be entirely accurate. The district's fiscal advisors, Charles Bastian and Karen Moon of Bernard P. Donegan Inc., are looking into it.
Speaking at a July 17 public hearing, Bastian and Moon told district residents that the local taxpayers' portion of the cost would be $63,000 per year.
They said an $80,000 house with a senior STAR exemption would see its school tax go up by $3 a year for this project; with a basic STAR exemption by $8 a year, and with no STAR exemption by $12 a year.
The proposed security measures include the following.
-- New Doors and Door Hardware / New Vents ($230,000): All classrooms would be able to be locked down. Doors with grills and large panes of glass, primarily in the elementary wing, would be replaced. Doors that presently cannot be locked would get new locksets.
-- Vestibule ($136,000): Construct an exterior vestibule under the overhang and replace the existing doors. The new doors, both inside and outside, would have bulletproof glass. It is anticipated that a new foundation wall would be needed under the new doors and part of the sidewalk needs to be replaced.
-- Security Cameras: ($78,800): Exterior and interior cameras to monitor the entrances, corridors and other spaces.
-- Access Control ($74,000): All exterior doors would have secure key fob (or card swipe) access.
-- Network Upgrades ($92,000): replace switches and servers to create a more robust wired computer system and to accommodate the cameras, access control and wireless hubs.
-- Gym Lighting ($54,000): replace the original existing lights with instant-on energy efficient and long-life type. If LED bulbs are used there may be grant funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
-- Loading Dock Reconstruction ($45,000).
-- Wireless Infrastructure ($40,000): install nodes above ceilings to enable wireless access to the Internet throughout the building.
-- Playground Surfacing ($23,000): engineered wood fiber playground chips mulch.
The Tuesday, Aug. 13, vote will be held from 12:30-8:30 p.m. in the school cafeteria. Residents of the school district who are not registered to vote may do so at the school office, but must do so not less than five days before the vote.
If voters approve the project Mosaic Associates Architects would begin work three days after the vote. Construction is anticipated to begin June 28, 2014 with a projected completion date of Dec. 1, 2014.