Shakespeare & Company A Body of Water June-July 2024

District voters approve capital project 166-129

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By Melanie Lekocevic

Capital Region Independent Media

The parking lot at Pieter B. Coeymans Elementary School is slated to be replaced as part of the district’s $15 million capital project, which was approved by voters Jan. 9. Courtesy of RCS School District

RAVENA-COEYMANS-SELKIRK — Voters in the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk school district voted to approve a $15 million capital project when they headed to the polls Jan. 9.

With 295 voters casting ballots, 166 voted “yes” on the project, with 129 voting “no,” or 56% approving to 44% opposing the proposal.

The project comes with a $15,026,250 price tag, with renovations slated for all four schools in the district.

A total of $2,246,250 will be spent at Pieter B. Coeymans Elementary School; $1,991,250 at A.W. Becker Elementary School; $2,112,500 at RCS Middle School; and $7,372,500 at RCS High School.

An additional $1,057,500 will be spent for renovations at the district’s transportation building, and $246,250 at the district’s warehouse.

“We want to take a moment to say thank you to the residents of our community for supporting these needed improvements,” District Superintendent Dr. Brian Bailey said. “This project will allow us to keep growing as a district, for not only our students and their future, but for our staff and community as well. We can’t wait to get started on this important work for our RCS community.”

The results of Monday’s vote are expected to be ratified at the Jan. 11 meeting of the board of education.

The project will include renovations such as reconstruction of the parking lot at the high school and middle school campus, along with new outdoor lighting, ventilators, skylights, exterior masonry work and other structural and safety upgrades throughout the district’s four buildings.

The driveway and parking lots at the elementary schools will also see improvements.

The $15 million capital project will be paid for with $5.1 million coming from the capital reserves that have been set aside by the district, and $9,926,250 from a 15-year bond. State aid will reimburse the district for 72.1% of the cost of the project.

The tax rate for district homeowners will see an increase of 5 cents for every $1,000 of the assessed value of the home, which means a $5 tax hike for the year for a home assessed at $100,000, and $10 a year for a home assessed at $200,000, according to the district.

Now that the project has been approved, final construction plans are expected to be submitted to the State Education Department in November, with approval anticipated by the spring or summer of 2024. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2025, with project completion slated for the summer of 2026.

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