On Dec. 4, 2018, Herkimer Central School District voters approved a $16.7 million capital project to replace heating and cooling systems, enhance student and community safety, and make much-needed repairs and improvements at both school buildings, all without causing local taxes to increase.
See “Capital Project Scope” for more details on the scope of the proposal.
The proposition authorizes the Herkimer Central School District to spend up to $16.7 million on a range of projects related to infrastructure, safety and improved use of space. The district plans to solicit bids for work slated to begin in the summer of 2020. Work would be done in two phases.
How will the project affect my taxes?
Although local taxes will help pay for the proposed project, the district will not need to raise taxes to do so. The district qualifies for state aid that could cover about 92 percent of eligible costs related to the building project. An additional $1.35 million from the district’s capital reserves has also been authorized to help pay for the project. The local share of the costs is expected to be around $100,000 per year over the course of a 16-year repayment period.
Why do this work now?
The proposal would fund 50 projects that the district has selected as the most pressing needs. The list was based on the most recent building condition survey, as well as recommendations from architects and building maintenance staff.
About a quarter of the proposed costs ($4.75 million) will go to replace the district’s aging boilers and heating units. These systems will continue to need repairs if not replaced.
More about the proposal
Safety and Security
The capital project also includes replacement of the footbridge near Herkimer Jr./Sr. High School and replacement of deteriorating sidewalks.
A report prepared for the town of Herkimer in May recommended replacing the pedestrian bridge with a higher, wider span to prevent flooding.
The capital project also sets aside some funding — less than $200,000, or about 1 percent of the total project cost — to address traffic congestion on Gros Boulevard and Pine Grove near the elementary school.
High School Renovations
At the high school, the project will allow the district to renovate the fitness center so that it could be used more often during physical education classes.
Students can only use the fitness center if a teacher is in the room. The capital project calls for windows to be added along the wall that separates the high school fitness center and gymnasium, allowing a teacher to monitor both areas at once.
Other proposed work at the high school includes replacing the public address system, and replacing malfunctioning auditorium and stage lighting.
At the elementary school, a cracked floor and deteriorating floor tiles in the cafeteria and kitchen are to be replaced as part of the capital project.
The project would also fund the replacement of the school building’s sanitary sewer system.