HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (WETM-TV) – On Tuesday, voters in the Horseheads Central School District approved the Capital Project Referendum “Horseheads 2030: Continuing Our Build” by a margin of 621-410, according to district officials.
More about the project can be found here: Capital Project Vote 12-7-21 (horseheadsdistrict.com).
HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (WETM) – Residents in the Horseheads Central School District will vote next week on the next phase of the district’s capital improvement plan, Horseheads 2030: Continuing Our Build.
Voting will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 7 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Horseheads High School South Gym. Masks will be required for those entering the facility.
The $122.2 million second phase of the project includes renovations of elementary school classrooms, cafeterias, gyms, and improving the overall environment for elementary students.
A majority of the funding is dedicated to the high school and district stadium.
- Big Flats Elementary School – $19,603,542
- Gardner Road Elementary School – $17,568,761
- Ridge Road Elementary School – $24,958,373
- Intermediate/Middle Schools – $12,354,839
- High School and District Stadium – $47,769,478
- Total – $122,254,993
The district provided a breakdown of project plans for each of the buildings impacted by the project:
Ridge Road, Gardner Road, and Big Flats would see cafeteria and kitchen renovations, gymnasium stage renovations/additions, and classroom additions. The additions would allow the district to redraw and improve attendance zones as we phase out the use of Center Street for students. The libraries at Big Flats and Ridge Road would also be relocated and renovated, and the library at Gardner Road would be renovated. HVAC upgrades and replacements, playground improvements, and parking lot and sidewalk improvements would take place at all three schools.
The Middle/Intermediate complex on Sing Sing Road would see gymnasium and locker room renovations, roof replacement, upgrades and replacements for HVAC, and a redesign of the main parking lot for better traffic flow.
At the High School, there would be renovations of several classrooms adjacent to a new multi-purpose physical education and athletics facility in the south wing. This space would include a large gym with several partitioned physical education spaces, indoor track, wrestling room, flexible training/exercise space, and weight room. The High School complex would also see upgrades and replacements for HVAC and site improvements including sidewalks, traffic flow, and parking lots.
The multi-purpose stadium at the High School would be completed with locker rooms, physical therapy/trainer spaces, and a music storage room adjacent to the main entrance.
Plans also include gym/locker room improvements, roofing, and a parking lot redesign at the Middle/Intermediate schools. This would also enable the district to regulate the temperatures in our classrooms/buildings through the continued installation and upgrade of heating/ventilating and cooling systems.
We believe our schools should too so that our students can be in an environment that is more conducive to learning. The upgraded mechanical systems of this project would address both heating and cooling in our schools.
If approved, the second phase of the project would still need approval from the New York State Education Department. The district expects bids to be awarded as early as the spring of 2023 with phased construction beginning in the summer of 2023.
The scope of the second major project is expected to be completed between the Fall of 2026 and the Summer of 2027.
The district says the project would be financed with 15-year bonds, which will be paid for primarily with New York State building aid. Additional funds would come from the existing district resources and money from the district’s capital reserve.
The district expects to receive 82.1% percent of eligible costs as state aid to fund the project over 15 years. The plan would allocate $15 million, or $1 million per year, to be spent from the district budget for capital improvements and $10 million from the capital reserves.
The district says their financial advisors “have arrived at a conservative estimate of a 6.34% increase in the tax levy to fund this project over 15 years.”
For a home with a full value of $100,000 all without a STAR exemption, this would amount to an increase of $109.90, or 30 cents per day, phased in over a four-year period beginning in 2023. If the homeowner has the Basic STAR exemption, the estimated increase would be $76.93; for those with the Enhanced STAR exemption, the increase would be $32.20.
Who is eligible to vote?
All district residents, both renters and home-owners, are eligible to vote, as long as they met the following requirements;
- Are a U.S. citizen
- Are 18 years of age or older on the day of the vote
- Have lived in the district for at least 30 days prior to the vote on December 7
- Are not restricted from voting in general elections based on election law
You do not have to be registered in general elections in order to vote.
Registered voters who cannot get to the polls on December 7 due to illness or travel may vote by absentee ballot. Current rules allow any voter who is at risk of contracting or spreading a communicable disease like COVID-19 to request an absentee ballot.
Applications for absentee ballots are available in the district’s Business Office, 143 Hibbard Road, Horseheads. The district mails absentee ballots to voters listed as “permanently disabled” by the Chemung County Board of Elections. Absentee ballots must be returned no later than 5 p.m. on Dec. 7 to the district’s business office.
Anyone with questions is asked to call 739-5601, x4260.
Voters approved the first phase in October 2017 with 82% approving $94 million in improvements to schools across the district, primarily the high school.