MASSENA — The date is now officially set for a capital project vote in the Massena Central School District.
During its meeting Thursday evening, the district’s Board of Education passed a resolution to establish Dec. 12 as the date for a public vote on the proposed $49.6 million project. The voting will be held from noon to 8 p.m. at the Massena Community Center.
Superintendent Patrick Brady said the resolution passed by the board allows them to bond for $43.6 million, and $6 million from a capital reserve fund has been set aside to cover the remainder of the project.
Board members also passed a resolution that declared the district as the lead agency in the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR) process.
“It’s a Type II action with no significant environmental impact for this project, so there’s no need for a comprehensive review. This is quite common for projects that are just renovations. We’re not looking at disturbing wetlands or expanding the footprint of any of the buildings, so it’s very common for us to have a Type II SEQR,” Mr. Brady said.
He also told board members that some preliminary work would need to be done if they were going to meet a deadline of getting into phase one of the project in the spring and getting bids to start work on roof issues, asbestos abatement and some site work.
The first step is to complete a site survey, he said. A geotech survey will provide information on what’s underground because they’ll be digging for work on parking lots, curbing and other areas.
The second is a topographical survey, “which is to look at everything that is above the ground, from parking lots to trees to sidewalks — anything there that’s going to impact the design implementation of the project,” Mr. Brady said.
He said $50,000 has been budgeted for the topographical survey, but that came in at $93,000 because Massena did not have any of the work digitized.
“They’re starting from scratch,” he said.
The digitized information will be used for site planning, grading and location of underground utilities during the project.
The board had also budgeted $80,000 for the geotech survey, but that came in at $42,000.
“Between the two, we’re coming out pretty much at the same spot. It’s all aid-able,” Mr. Brady said. “It is good to get this work done now. It’s just going to become more costly down the road. We do need this done now if we’re going to get into phase one.”
Phase one will include site work, asbestos abatement and roofs. The overall project is expected to take three summers because of its complexity.
Under the project scope prepared by the IBI Group, the district’s architectural firm, the high school would receive $14.4 million in improvements, and the junior high would be slated for $8.7 million in improvements. Construction costs at the three elementary schools would include $8.6 million at Nightengale, $8.5 million at Madison and $8 million at Jefferson.
The Central Administration Building would be slated for $617,000 in work, and $848,000 in work would be done at the Shared Transportation Facility.
Among the priorities at all of the schools are interior renovations including ceilings, LED lighting and door security, as well as life safety systems replacements including security, fire alarm and public address.
Despite the $49.6 million price tag, a review of the project by fiscal advisors indicates there will be zero impact on the taxpayers.