A presentation will be given at Monday, December 3, 7pm, at John A. Sciole Elementary, 86 Alys Drive E., Depew. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the project and make sure to cast an informed vote on December 11.
The vote will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 11 from 7am-9pm in the new Java Gym-Lancaster High School North Entrance.
New York State will be returning 74.3 percent of the $77.1 million project cost back to the district in the form of building aid. The remaining project expenses will have no additional tax impact on property taxes, as $5 million in capital reserve funds and the $500,000 LEAF donation will be used and existing debt is being paid off. Over the course of the next several years, previous bond issue debt being paid off enables the district to build the cost of the project and related state aid into subsequent budgets without an additional tax impact.
- This project makes maximum use of voter-approved capital reserve funds;
- The retirement of previous debt service results in no net tax increase;
- LEAF has partnered with the district to provide unprecedented enhancements that the district could otherwise not afford.
NO ADDITIONAL TAX IMPACT
Dear Lancaster Residents,
No matter the age of your home, little time goes by without needing improvements. Sometimes it's as simple as routine maintenance. Other times more extensive repairs are required, like a new roof, upgrading to a heating system, or replacing windows.
As Western New York's fourth largest school district, Lancaster is home to the largest single-campus high school and largest elementary school in the region, William Street School. It is our responsibility to maintain safe and sound properties that encompass more than one million square feet of brick and mortar as well as more than 300 acres of land.
We have made significant investments in technology, addressed health and safety concerns, and made more obvious improvements in the 2015 capital project, including construction of a new transportation facility, which paved the way for much-needed additional parking at the high school, construction of a new north entrance for athletics, a new Java Gym, and more. This work has been accomplished in two capital improvement projects over the past six years, yet there are still significant needs in each of our aging facilities.
While our oldest building, Lancaster Middle School, is nearing its centennial year, our newest, William Street School, is just 'coming of age,' hitting the 20-year mark when it becomes eligible, for the first time since its construction, for building aid on any repairs or renovations. On one hand, we have our oldest building, which despite ongoing maintenance and previous capital project work is still in need of infrastructure improvements; on the other hand, our newest building has not had any major enhancements, repairs, or improvements since it was built two decades ago. Each of the remaining buildings is in some need of attention, whether in terms of replacing parking lots and sidewalks, window replacements and masonry repairs, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) upgrades to restrooms and other areas, and heating and cooling system upgrades, as well as other items.
On Tuesday, December 11, residents will have the opportunity to vote on a $77.1 million capital project that focuses on preserving the community's assets and prioritizes items from the building condition survey. By maximizing state aid, applying $5 million from the district's capital reserve fund, and a $500,000 donation from the Lancaster Educational Alumni Foundation (LEAF), we will be able to realize all of this at no additional tax impact to homeowners.
While the 2015 bond issue laid the foundation for the future of our facilities, this capital project will ensure the integrity of the infrastructure and protect the community's assets for years to come.
On behalf of the board of education, administration, faculty, staff, and students of this school district, thank you.
Patrick Uhteg, President
Board of Education