Capital Project Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why is the District having a capital project vote?

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    Geneva City School District is committed to exercising care and good judgment in managing the community resources with which we are entrusted. This means continuing to take care of our schools, an important asset the community owns. The district is addressing its highest-priority facilities and educational programming needs now, rather than delaying and facing future higher costs and further deterioration.

     


    Just as one’s home ages and needs upkeep and repairs to keep it in good shape, so too do our schools. Routine facility maintenance and repair work is typically funded within the annual district budget, with local taxpayers bearing the full cost; however, large renovations, reconstruction, and replacement of “end of useful life” items, as we are proposing with this project, would have a major impact on the tax rate if included in the annual district budget. A capital project proposition is the fiscally responsible alternative because the State reimburses a vast majority of the cost, and the expense is spread out over a longer period of time.

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  • What needs does the project address?

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    The proposed project focuses on three key areas: 1) Health, safety, and security improvements; 2) Educational program space enhancements; and 3) Building infrastructure and operations needs. Since our last major capital project addressed needs at our elementary schools and high school, a key focus of this project includes re-imagining our middle school. By reconfiguring our instructional spaces into multi-use learning spaces and collaborative flex rooms, we can provide our students with enhanced, modernized learning spaces for core STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) programs.

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  • How was the proposed capital project developed?

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    After our last capital project was completed, the district embarked on a long-range planning process to assess current and future capital improvement needs and the means to responsibly achieve them. During this process, critical safety upgrades and building preservation needs were identified and prioritized, as were opportunities to enrich our students through academic program enhancements. To evaluate conditions at all facilities, the district utilized its building condition survey (BCS), which is mandated by the State to be conducted every five years, and considered work completed in previous projects.

     


    The district also established a Capital Improvement Steering Committee consisting of many active members and important voices from our community. The committee met regularly throughout the year to review the concepts and ideas being considered and provide their feedback. Key program needs and initiatives were also reviewed with teachers and staff. The district and its consultants then reviewed all recommendations over several meetings and developed the project’s scope, delivery timeline, and financing options to develop a reasonable and responsible project that would have no additional tax impact on our community.

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  • What is the total budget for this proposed project and how can it have no additional tax increase?

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    The total cost of the project is $27,500,000. The majority of the project will be paid for using available State Building Aid. The remainder will be paid for using $4,800,000 to be applied from the district’s capital reserve fund. The capital reserve fund is designated to be used exclusively for capital improvement projects.

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  • New York’s economic outlook is unclear — why use capital reserve funds now?

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    By law, the capital reserve fund cannot be accessed or used by the district for normal operating expenses. It can only be used for capital improvement purposes. By applying these funds now, together with available State aid, we can address critical needs and prevent further deterioration of our facilities with no additional tax increase for our district residents.

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  • Isn’t State Aid just my tax dollars too?

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    Yes, it is. The New York State Legislature has given all districts in the state an opportunity to use tax dollars to enhance their communities through school building improvements and renovations. This is an opportunity to keep some of those tax dollars in our own community, working to improve the educational setting for our children and the public.

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  • When will the work take place?

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    It’s expected that the State Education Department’s approval for the project would be received in early 2023 with the bulk of work starting that summer. It is anticipated that the project would be completed in late 2024.

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  • What if the referendum does not pass?

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    The critical safety requirements and building preservation needs would still be absolutely necessary. If the referendum does not pass, these requirements would still need to be addressed. A bond vote allows the district to receive partial reimbursement of the project’s cost through State Building Aid. Without the State’s aid, the funds for any required work would have to come from the annual budget, with local taxpayers bearing the full cost.

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  • Where can I find out more about the capital project?

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    A public information meeting with an open forum for questions and answers will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 30, at 7 p.m. in the high school library. Project information is also available at www.genevacsd.org.

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