People in the Fayetteville-Manlius School District have a serious choice to make about fixing up three badly aging buildings.
On Tuesday, Dec. 5, taxpayers will be asked to vote on a $45-million capital project.
The building with the most work needed is Wellwood Middle School. The project will preserve its familiar white columns but will address a number of issues with the school constructed in the 1930’s.
F-M Superintendent Dr. Craig Tice says, “We just can ill afford to kick the can down the road, it’s time to address a lot of the behind the scenes infrastructure.”
Almost $35 million would be used at Wellwood for things like replacing the original boilers that have been failing since 2010, and replacing them with high efficiency ones.
The work also includes a series of upgrades to make it comply with the American with Disabilities Act.
A new addition would allow the district to move the cramped kitchen, cafeteria and music rooms out of the basement which battles mold and mildew regularly.
Tice says the public was also heavily involved in the list of upgrades for Enders Road Elementary and F-M High School.
“They will definitely support needs and not necessarily wants and this project really addresses a lot of the needs out there as you would as a homeowner,” tells NewsChannel 9.
The project is not even half of the $100 million worth of needed upgrades identified in a 2015 New York State required building conditions survey, but according to Tice they are the most pressing with what they say will be the least impact to taxpayers.
The vote is Tuesday, Dec. 5 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Fayetteville Elementary. Absentee ballots are available by calling the district office.
A public hearing will be held Tuesday, Nov. 28 at 6:30 p.m. at Eagle Hill Middle School.
There will also be two other opportunities to learn about the project and ask questions.
The first is at 9 a.m. Friday, Dec. 1 at the F-M District Office and then at 9 a.m. Saturday December 2 at Fayetteville Elementary.
Of the total estimated 1.11 percent proposed property tax levy increase, residents would first only see the portion related to Enders Road, the high school and the Energy Performance Contract, which would be about a 0.3% increase that would take effect for the 2019-20 school year.
For a town of Manlius home, the tax rate increase for that year would be estimated at $7.75 per $100,000 of taxable value.
Wellwood’s share of the tax levy increase, about 0.8%, would impact school tax rates for the 2020-21 school year. So for a town of Manlius home, the tax rate increase for that portion of the project would be estimated at $20.69 per $100,000 of taxable value.
Based upon the current tax rate, the total estimated tax rate increase of $0.28 per thousand, or $28.44 per $100,000 of taxable value, would be realized during the 2020-21 school year.
If the projects follow the anticipated schedule, the Energy Performance Contract, which includes boiler replacements at the district office building, Eagle Hill Middle School and the high school, and the work at Enders Road and the high school are estimated to be complete in September 2020. Wellwood’s projects would be scheduled to be done in September 2022.