Weekly Feature



2012-11-28 / Front Page

Capital project looms in Sweet Home District

by DAVID F. SHERMAN
Managing Editor

A proposal that would seek voter approval of a sweeping capital project is in the works for the Sweet Home Central School District.

Complete details may be made available to the public by spring, according to Keith Langlotz, supervisor of buildings and grounds, who discussed the project at the Board of Education’s Nov. 20 meeting.

He said a tentative timetable would see a recommendation made to the board in February 2013 with a referendum pegged for October. If approved, the project would take about 30 months to complete.

The price tag would be about $10 million but have only “minimal impact” on district finances.

“That’s because it would come at the time when existing debt service is falling off,” said Robert McDow, director of finance and plant services.

One new project would take the place of another that will have been paid off, he said.

A survey of building conditions was made in 2010, breaking down repairs into three categories: urgent, critical and important.

The urgent category covered items that need immediate attention. There were none.

Critical items are those that need to be addressed within three years. Important items could be put on a three- to five-year timetable.

Some of the critical items on the district’s list include parking lots at the high school, roofs, sidewalks and sewage systems.

Langlotz said athletic facilities are long overdue for replacement or update. He cited the high school gym floor and outdoor track as venues needing the most attention.

McDow told the board that the gym floor cannot be resurfaced any longer, as a sanding process has worn the hardwood down to its lowest level.

Replacement of the outdoor track would allow it to be enlarged to eight lanes from its current six-lane configuration.

“We can’t patch it anymore,” he stated.

Drainage and irrigation systems that support the adjacent athletic fields are also in need of replacement. The ground now “undulates” because of groundwater issues, Langlotz said. The systems are nearly 40 years old.

Also on the maintenance list are the two hydraulic lifts used for bus servicing in the transportation department building.

Projected costs are as follows:

• All critical items: $7,571,640.

• All important items: $2,643,327.

• All other items: $4 million.

The project would be financed across 15 years and be fully eligible for state aid.

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