Florida School District’s $7.98 million capital project goes before voters Feb. 26

Improvements would include building repairs and making Golden Hill Elementary and S.S. Seward Institute safer and more secure


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— On Tuesday, Feb. 26, residents of the Florida School District will vote on a proposed $7,985,804 capital improvement project which addresses necessary building repairs, enhances learning spaces and makes Golden Hill Elementary and S.S. Seward Institute safer and more secure.

Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the S.S. Seward Memorial Building, 51 North Main St. Florida.

After months of research and consideration, key repairs and improvements were identified and put into the plan, including the addition of safety vestibules; upgraded alarm systems; S.S. Seward library and locker room renovations; the restoration of the Alex F. Paul athletic fields at Golden Hill; parking lot paving; and air conditioning in school cafetoriums.

The project also includes an array of infrastructure repairs to masonry, flooring and lighting.

Security vestibules, designed to control and monitor visitors, are included for the entrances of both Golden Hill and S.S. Seward. Door locks throughout the district will be replaced with high security locks and several interior and exterior doors will be replaced. The alarm systems at both schools will also be upgraded.

Tax increase If approved, a taxpayer with STAR and a home assessed at $200,000 will see an $11 annual increase in property taxes. The tax impact is lower – $8 per year – for those with Senior STAR. Taxpayers will see the increase for five years, then the tax impact will fall below current rates as the district retires existing debt.

Slightly more than 66 percent of the capital project is eligible for state building aid. The district also plans to use $2 million from its capital reserve fund to further offset the cost to taxpayers.

AllocationThe capital project will address safety and security, infrastructure, and instructional spaces at the district’s three buildings. If approved by voters, about $3.9 million in work would be done to each of the district’s two school buildings, Golden Hill Elementary and S.S. Seward. Here’s how the spending is allocated:

• Golden Hill Elementary: $3,942,500

• S.S. Seward Memorial Building: $141,000

• S.S. Seward Institute: $3,902,304

FundingThe money would come from three sources:

• New York State Building Aid: 66.1 percent ($5.2 million)

• Capital Reserves: $2 million

• Local share : $785,804

Most of the work will be scheduled during the summers of 2020 and 2021 to minimize disruption to classes. The work is expected to be completed by fall 2021.

Highlights of the Florida School District’s capital project

The $7,985,804 capital project would address three priorities: Safety and security, learning spaces and infrastructure in each of the district’s three buildings:
Golden Hill Elementary• New security vestibule
• Reconstruct grass field and clay infields
• Air conditioning in cafetorium
• Replace corridor locksets with high security locks
• Replace exterior doors
• Repave entry drive, parking lot and drop off
• Upgrade kitchen and serving line equipment
• Replace windows at 1990 addition
• Paint gymnasium
• Replace fire alarm panel and upgrade system
Golden Hill Elementary total: $3,942,500
S.S. Seward Institute• New security vestibule
• Air conditioning in cafetorium
• Renovate locker rooms
• Create small group spaces in library
• Replace corridor locksets with high security locks
• Repave entry drive, parking lot, and drop off
• Replace fire alarm panel and upgrade system
• Replace/refurbish seven HVAC units
• Replace 6th grade lockers
S.S. Seward Institute total: $3,902,304
S.S. Seward Memorial Building• Replace sidewalks
• Infrastructure repairs
Memorial Building total: $141,000




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