CARTHAGE — The Carthage Central School District has embarked on a $34.5 million capital project, approved by referendum in May 2019, to improve the safety and security at all the district’s buildings. In addition, the project will allow for better maintenance of facilities and consolidate Great Bend functions into the high school facility.
“This project is very important for the future of our district,” Superintendent of Schools Jennifer L. Premo said. “Maintaining the Great Bend building is not going to remain feasible for the district long term and this is the perfect opportunity for consolidation. This project is allowing us to make important safety and security upgrades across the district and will allow our business offices and alternative education programs to come to our main high school campus.”
A bulk of this summer’s Phase I work is taking place at Carthage Elementary at a projected total cost of $3.07 million. Work at the Beaver Lane school, built in 1975, involves asbestos abatement, removal of carpeted flooring and replacement with low-maintenance tile along with a new driveway and parking lots. A catch basin will be installed in the parking area to control surface runoff and upgrades will be made to the driveway, parking areas, curbing and sidewalks along with an extension to the bus lane and sidewalk. In addition, an emergency electrical generator will be installed and the water heater replaced.
District wide improvements will be made for safety and security to include upgrades to the fire alarm systems, public address system and blue light, digital clock systems, exterior building and site lighting and automated lockdown system.
Black River Elementary site work includes the installation of a new playground, site story improvements and new student drop off loop and parking. For safety and security considerations, an emergency electrical generator will be installed. To more efficiently use energy, there will be control upgrades, CUV replacements along with the installation of a new boiler. In addition, upgrades will be made to windows and doors.
Kitchen equipment will be replaced at both the West Carthage and Black River buildings and there will be masonry restoration at all three elementary buildings.
The West Carthage Elementary project will cost about $1.74 million and for Black River Elementary, $5.82 million.
The Middle School’s $7.38 million project will include an expansion of the playground and improvements to the sport facilities including providing half tennis/ half basketball court and the reconstruction of the six full tennis courts. The track will be resurfaces and turf which was installed in 2008 will be replaced as will the press box. The parking lot will be reconfigured to improve bus circulation.
The band and chorus areas will be expanded and renovated. The cafetorium will be renovated to improve on stage acoustics.
The $15.72 million high school improvements include creating space for the alternative education program and district business offices which will be relocated from the Great Bend building. There will also be improvements made to the band, choral, art, agriculture and CAD program areas. The media center — library — will be modernized and the science wing classrooms will be updated.
Transportation facility upgrades which include the installation of emergency electrical generator and oil/water separator replacement are estimated at $0.77 million.
The move of the programs and offices from the Great Bend building will be part of the second phase of the project which should begin next summer, according to the superintendent.
Financing for the $34,504,810 project will come from $1,973,881 estimated Excel Aid, $3 million capital reserve and $29,530,929 state building aid with no additional funds from taxpayers.
“We have included Excel Aid in our funding proposal with State Ed for the capital project,” Mrs. Premo said. “Phase I of the project has been approved. We work closely with fiscal advisors, WatchDog (Watchdog Building Partners of Rochester), and BCA (BCA Architects and Engineers of Watertown) to ensure we are meeting all the necessary requirements to receive our funding. If Excel goes away, it will be replaced with building aid.”
The entire capital project is expected to be completed by December.