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Board Approves Resolution for December 8 Bond Vote

Voters will be asked to approve the December 8 bond vote with no tax increase for $64.96 million of facility improvements


October 5, 2021 -  At its meeting on October 4, the North Syracuse Central School District Board of Education unanimously adopted a resolution calling for a December 8 public referendum on $64.95 million worth of construction upgrades to Cicero-North Syracuse High School and Cicero, Lakeshore Road, and Smith Road elementary schools.
 
The project will be paid for through a combination of New York State education building aid and on-hand reserve funds. As a result, there is no projected tax increase for the project.

“As community assets, we must regularly invest in our schools to preserve their integrity and value as teaching and learning environments,” said Daniel Bowles, Superintendent of Schools. “It is essential that we continually address issues of building safety and replace systems that have exceeded their life span. It is also a reasonable expectation to create and preserve modern learning environments.”

Superintendent Bowles noted the ongoing reconstruction of the KWS Bear Road Elementary School as an example of community-supported school renovation and modernization. “Our schools are very well-maintained, but in most cases are quite old and require rehabilitation to address efficiency, safety, the broad use of technology in the curriculum. There are significant differences in teaching and learning that occurred decades ago when they were first constructed.”
 
Voters will encounter three propositions on the ballot on December 8.
 
Proposition 1 calls for renovations to C-NS High School, including HVAC systems, electrical and safety upgrades, roofing upgrades, repaving of campus roads, and complete renovation of the gymnasium, locker rooms auditorium. Lakeshore Road Elementary and Cicero Elementary will experience significant renovations to the 1950s/60s portion of each building, similar to the current KWS Bear Road renovation. Smith Road Elementary School will see safety (PA/Fire Alarm) and paving and playground improvements not part of the last upgrade project. There is no tax increase for this work.
 
Proposition 2 details a $16.95 million development project on the C-NS campus of a community pool facility. This project has been studied in detail by a community committee and a special grant of $2 million has been made available through the help and support of Assemblyman Al Stirpe. The North Syracuse Central School District is one of the only large suburban schools in Central New York that doesn’t have a community pool facility, which creates massive inconvenience for our swim teams and leaves the community without an important resource. A $100,000 home can expect to see a tax increase of $1.50 per month for this project.
 
Proposition 3 calls for the creation of a capital reserve fund not to exceed $30 million. This is a useful tool that allows the District to mitigate or avoid future tax increases associated with capital projects. If approved, excess operating funds can be placed in the capital reserve each year. These funds can only be used for future capital projects to improve district facilities and requires voter approval to use. There is no tax increase associated with this proposition.
 
“We are calling this project Structured for Success because our plans were carefully developed out of the overwhelming need to address our building priorities without affecting the tax rate,” said Mr. Don Keegan, Associate Superintendent for Business Services. “We worked with our architects and officials from the State Education Department to ensure that this project was properly conceived and would allow us to continue down a responsible financial path.”
 
School leaders will spend the months of October and November meeting with community members to share information about the project and answer questions about building condition surveys, project specifics, funding specifics, and construction plans. Updated information will be made available on the District’s website and through two planned mailings to all community households. A special public hearing on the project will take place on November 24.

Click here to read the superintendent's letter to staff and families about the project. 

Click here for the September 27 Board of Education presentation