District voters will decide on $76.7 million Facilities Modernization Plan

Voters within the Pine Bush Central School District will go to the polls on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, to decide on a proposed $76.7 capital project that will modernize each school building with upgrades and new investments.

To see the total costs and a list of projects for each school, click here.

To see architectural plans for each school, click here.

To view the superintendent’s Power Point presentation from Nov. 13, 2018, click here.

For information on voting locations and absentee ballots, click here.

View the fall newsletter complete with information on the proposed Facilities Modernization Plan.

Postcard to residents reminding them to vote.

Watch the video about the Facilities Modernization Plan here.

Estimated Effect on Property Taxes

The district has calculated the potential tax impact using  both conservative and practical  assumptions. At most, taxpayers could see an increase of 3.92 percent in the first year of the bond, depending on the borrowing costs. That amount would gradually decrease over the full term of the bonding to 2.97 percent. That is based on conservative assumptions. Here are the numbers based on both conservative and practical assumptions.

Current Tax Bill Annual/Monthly Cost Annual/Monthly Cost
$3,000 $119 / $9.92 $70 / $5.83
$4,000 $158 / $13.17 $93 / $7.75
$5,000 $198 / $16.50 $116 / $9.67
$10,000 $395 / $32.92 $232 / $19.33

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why are we voting on this in December? Why not wait until May when we vote on the budget?

A. If the district receives approval from voters before the end of the 2018 calendar year, it allows us to put shovels in the ground a full calendar year ahead of when we would if we waited until May. If voters approve the Facilities Modernization Plan on Dec. 6, work will begin on the buildings in the summer of 2020. If we wait until May, work wouldn’t begin until summer 2021.

Q. How did we let the conditions of our buildings get so bad?

A. This Facilities Modernization Plan is large because of deferred work. Previous boards were very concerned with the community’s capacity to support this financial investment. We had just come out of a recession and in 2013, the board was hesitant to ask taxpayers for $16 million. By doing this, many projects were delayed and conditions continued to deteriorate. It is just like maintenance on a home – if you let one thing go, more damage is often done.

Q. Why do we need turf fields?

A. Turf fields are resilient, safe and much more efficient to maintain than grass fields. On a grass field, we must provide time for the field to recuperate after a game. Not with turf. There is no turn-around time with turf. One game ends and another can begin. There’s no mud in the middle of the field from the last team tearing up the grass.

Grass fields require a lot of maintenance. They need to be aerated, seeded and watered. With turf, there is none of that. And the fields can be used year round. No pesticides or gas-powered tools are needed in order for them to thrive. Turf fields do not dry out in a drought and don’t get muddy when the rain or snow comes. Having them will provide more practice availability to teams since the fields do not need time to recuperate.

The quality of turf fields has improved over the past decade or two. Drainage has improved and there is increased cushioning when an athlete falls. That creates an additional safety advantage for our athletes.

We believe adding artificial turf fields to the district will bolster our athletic program, and they certainly bring us into contemporary expectations for high school athletics.

Q. Can I still vote if I am not already registered to vote?

A. You do have to be registered in advance to vote.  If you are not registered to vote with the County Board of Elections, you can still register to just vote in school elections by contacting the District Clerk, Debbie June, at our District Office (744-2031).

Q. I keep hearing about a “Building Condition Survey” that was a large part of the driving force behind this proposal.  Exactly what is a Building Condition Survey?

A.  All NYS school districts are required every five years to hire architects and engineers to inspect and assess the condition of their buildings and grounds.  The results of that review are provided to both the district and the NY State Education Department in a specific format known as the Building Condition Survey, or BCS. Our last BCS was completed in 2015.

Q. How did the district determine which projects to put into this large Facilities Modernization Plan?

A. When Superintendent Tim Mains began his tenure here in Pine Bush in the spring of 2017, he reviewed that BCS and toured all of the schools as one of his initial actions.  He then formed a team known as the Central Design Committee to collectively review the BCS, prioritize the projects within that report, to screen and select an architectural/engineering firm capable of designing a large-scale project, and to make a final recommendation to the Board of Education. That team took more than a year to organize and propose this Facilities Modernization Plan. They took a wish list of about $130 to $140 million worth of work and narrowed it down to this proposed Facilities Modernization Plan of $76.7 million.

Q. Who are the members of the Central Design Committee (CDC)?

A. Mike Pacella, assistant superintendent for Business, chairs the CDC. The other four standing members include: Jim Licardi, director of Operations and Maintenance; John Hicks, director of Technology; Eric Winter, Pine Bush Elementary School principal; and Tim Mains, superintendent of schools. These standing members of the CDC also invited input from Alex Tremper, director of Security; Mike Gillespie, director of Athletics, Physical Education and Health; Donna Geidel, assistant superintendent for Instruction; and the principals of all seven schools, who walked their buildings with our architects, Clark Patterson Lee.

Q. Will the new Capital Reserve that voters approved creating last spring be able to help with the new Facilities Modernization Plan?

A. Yes! That’s exactly why we asked to create the Capital Reserve. In fact, dollars placed there can ONLY be used to help with this new plan. Once it had been approved by the voters last May, the Board of Education transferred $7.5 million from its undesignated reserves into the new Capital Reserve account. Initial projections on the FMP’s cost factored in applying that $7.5 million, however, under a set of more practical assumptions the district expects to put at least another $5 million into the fund, further reducing the amount that would have to be paid in future budgets. The maximum we could place into the capital reserve is $20 million, or $12.5 million more than the $7.5 million currently available.

Q. How accurate is the projection of a total cost to local taxpayers of $20.7 million (plus borrowing costs)?

A. That projection is based on a set of very conservative assumptions. We wanted to make sure that the Board of Education had something close to a “worst case scenario” when the plan was submitted to the Board of Education for approval. More recently, we attempted to look at a set of more practical assumptions. Those assumptions and the impact they would have on both the district’s budget and on a taxpayer’s projected tax bill appear on our district website. Follow the link under “News and Announcements” on the right for more information about the Facilities Modernization Plan.

Email questions to communications@pinebushschools.org.

Pine Bush Central School District
State Route 302, Pine Bush, NY 12566
Phone: (845) 744-2031
Fax: (845) 744-6189
Tim O. Mains
Superintendent of Schools
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