New York state provides school districts the opportunity to develop building projects every five years based on a building condition report performed by a certified architect. The report evaluates the condition and programmatic needs of the facility. Port Byron’s buildings and grounds were last evaluated in 2015.
At Port Byron, we look for three goals when developing building projects. The first one is to ensure there will be no local cost to taxpayers. We have an extremely high State Aid ratio for building projects. We take advantage of this aid and create capital reserve accounts to make up for the local share.
The second part is to complete expansive maintenance work to the facility and buildings that will reduce annual costs, and, lastly, we want to enhance the district’s facility so that it’s a community center and asset beyond the school day.
The proposed project meets these three goals. It has no local cost to taxpayers. Your property taxes will not increase due to this project. The project has a long list of work that will repair aging or outdated plumbing, electrical and equipment. In addition, we will eliminate the asbestos flooring in A.A. Gates Elementary School, convert to LED lighting throughout the facility and connect our boilers and fans to a new control system. The lighting and new control system will save the district thousands of dollars each year, with the LED lighting conversion expected to save $30-35,000.
The project also aims to make the facility an even greater community asset. We will add generators so that not only can the district operate when a power outage occurs, but the facility will become a true Red Cross shelter in the event of an emergency.
The project also proposes renovating the athletic fields and increasing parking capacity for events. Athletic Drive will expand to the auditorium entrance and a new all-purpose facility featuring an all-weather synthetic turf field will be constructed. The facility could host football, field hockey, soccer, lacrosse and track and field events. Savings from switching to a maintenance-free playing surface, along with hosting sectional games will produce annual gains to our school budget.
Community members are invited to learn more about the project during upcoming town meetings. Please see this webpage's sidebar for meeting information.
The district welcomes your feedback on the proposed project and I encourage you to contact me with any questions you may have. Residents will have the opportunity to vote on the proposed project 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thurs., Aug. 25 in the district's Athletic Center lobby.
Superintendent of Schools
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