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At its Jan. 27 meeting, Board of Education members approved a bond proposal to fix the roofs and make capital improvements at several schools. The voter referendum is being held Tuesday, March 16, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the Flower Hill All-Purpose Room. The bond in its final version, which was unanimously approved by the board, has two propositions, one asks voters to approve a bond of $6,485,127.

The second proposition, contingent on the first, sets forth a bond for an additional $1,154,571, or $7,639,698, that would allow the public to expend the $1.1 million to re-roof Weber with slate rather than asphalt.

According to Assistant Superintendent for Business Mary Callahan, the cost of the bond to the homeowner with an assessed valuation of $500,000 would be $27.50 per year for asphalt shingle roofs. If that same homeowner selects proposition 2, which presents a slate roof option, then the cost would increase the yearly amount by $4.50. This is based on 25-year borrowing. The debt itself is likely to be reduced by the district's eligibility for NYS building aid from the NYS Education Department. It would reduce the annual cost by approximately 18 percent.

Commenting on the necessity of this bond, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Geoff Gordon said, "Based upon multiple recommendations, including the board of education and the architectural firm, I find the evidence overwhelming that the deteriorating condition of our roofs present and have presented a significant safety concern regarding our students." Continuing, he notes, "Some of the roofs are original, and in one case, dates back to 1920. It is my ongoing recommendation to return any leftover dollars from the present bond, if any remains, to the taxpayers. The board of education is choosing the most fiscally careful manner to address this pressing need."

One of the questions being asked by the taxpayers is why this work was not included in the large bond that had been worked on in the late '90s, and finally passed by the voters, in its final $66 million version, in March of 2001.

We put this question to the superintendent. He responded, "I was not the superintendent at the time the previous boards formulated the construction bond, and therefore not privy to the reasoning or decision to not include the roof work in that bond. I do know, however, that at this point, we have no choice but to address this great need."

The architects for this project are Burton, Behrendt & Smith. The scope of the work includes the following:

Schreiber High School:

Replace/repair roof ventilation fans

U.V. fresh air component restoration

Masonry reconstruction

Parapet wall repairs

Paint window lintels

Reconstruct masonry chimney

Remove/replace roofing

Repair EPDM roofing

Replace skylights

Replace ladders/doors to roof

Provide lightning protection

Replace vinyl asbestos flooring

Weber Middle School:

Roof replacement

Masonry reconstruction and lintel work

Replace flat EPDM roofing

Restore existing cupola

Provide lighting protection

Guggenheim:

Re-roof gymnasium

Re-roof library/cafetorium

Re-roof small canopies

Chimney brick, cap and coping

Masonry reconstruction

Replace skylights at gymnasium

Provide lightning protection

Install non-slip walking pads.

Daly:

Masonry reconstruction

Provide lightning protection

Manorhaven:

Replace shingle roofing

Refurbish front canopy

Repair chimney and parapets

Scrape and paint lintels

Masonry reconstruction

Replace built-up roofing


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