Proposition #1 is the main portion of this proposed project. It includes site work such as an elementary drop-off/pick-up circle, refurbishing of our track, and widening of sidewalks from Burrstone Road; main building improvement to include technology upgrades (Smart Classrooms, a building access control system and other safety improvements, wireless networks in all buildings), energy-efficient improvements to lighting in classrooms, hallways, office, classrooms, and the auditorium; and Beekman Gymnasium improvements such as a roof recoating and exit door replacements.
The District currently has $1 million in capital reserve funds approved by the voters in May. With a combination of State Building Aid, Capital Reserve funds and “old debt” from previous capital projects being paid down, the $3,180.000 cost of Proposition #1 is projected to result in no tax increase for our taxpayers.
Proposition #2 is for the improvement and enlargement of our existing cafeteria and kitchen, which was built in 1957 as part of the original New York Mills Jr.-Sr. High School. In 1982, when the Main Street Elementary School was closed, our K-6 students joined grades 7-12 in this building. Currently, the elementary and secondary students share the cafeteria, with two Jr.-Sr. High School lunch periods beginning at 10:43 a.m. and three elementary lunch seatings ending at 1:30 p.m. Enlarging the cafeteria will provide space for more students to eat at the same time, thereby creating more efficiency and flexibility for the elementary lunch schedule.
Yes, preliminary floor plans and site plans are now available for public viewing. Information including brochures and fliers will be distributed to the public between now and the Referendum date of November 18. Additionally, community-wide and individual organization presentations on the proposed project are already taking place. Information is also available on the district’s website at www.newyorkmills.org. Should you have additional questions, please feel free to contact the district office at 768-8127 or e-mail Superintendent Kathy Houghton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are three legacy items that would need to be moved if the present plans to expand and renovate our cafeteria and kitchen are approved by voters:
1. A 20 year-old oak tree planted on July 8, 1995 as a gift from the Class of 1940
2. A stone placed by the class of 1988 in memory of New York Mills student, Tracey A. Ouimette
3. A 30 year-old maple tree planted by the class of 1981 in memory of New York Mills student Julie Baron 4/15/63 – 12/6/78
The district is looking at every available option for the cafeteria/kitchen expansion; particularly those that will allow us to leave the legacy items in their current locations. However, the other options are more costly and involved:
1. If the district expands into the building towards the auditorium, we will lose the hallway between the cafeteria and auditorium. This hallway leads to a building exit and also allows students and staff to enter and exit the stage from both sides.
2. If we expand into our parking area, we will lose the current maintenance room, loading dock, and a portion of our parking. The maintenance/loading dock area would need to be rebuilt elsewhere and we are already short on parking; particularly during school-wide events such as concerts, plays, and athletic contests.
The district has already consulted with an arborist to find out if the trees are healthy enough to be safely moved. Unfortunately, the arborist does not recommend moving either tree. A copy of his report and recommendations are available on our website at www.newyorkmills.org
We have also talked with members of the class of 1940, as well as the families of both students for whom legacy items have been placed. In all cases, those personally affected would prefer to leave their legacy items in the current location but will work with us to respectfully relocate or replant their items if this is necessary.
If we are able to provide separate paths for buses and cars at the beginning and end of the school day, students and their parents will enjoy safe and streamlined drop-offs and pick-ups. Currently, parents are caught behind our buses; with students walking between vehicles in the morning and afternoon. This creates a hazard because the drivers cannot always see pedestrians that walk just in front of or behind them. The only other option in the afternoon is to wait at the top of Marauder Boulevard until all buses have loaded and departed; then drive down to the elementary entrance to pick up their child. This is time-consuming and often leaves our parents (and grandparents) frustrated and late to their next appointment or activity.
The Jr.-Sr. High School has the “boiler room” entrance on the other side of the building that is used for student drop-off/pick-up each day. The proposed elementary drop-off/pick-up circle serves the same purpose and allows our transportation department to continue using the front drive and entrance for all buses; without the safety issue of cars and pedestrians sharing this area each morning and afternoon.