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red arrow bulletCapital Improvement Project

Capital Improvement Project FAQs

If your question is not answered below, please email your inquiry to All questions will be answered within 3-5 business days and the responses will also be posted online.

One vision one goal one monticello

It is clear from the letter that the Phase I only vote will be in December 2017. Is there an anticipated date/year for the Phase II vote?

Both phases will be voted on in December of 2017. If the project is approved in December, voters will have given their approval of a $100 million project. Approximately $50 million of that will be bonded (loan taken out) in 2019 in the first phase and the second phase will not be bonded (loan taken out) until approximately 2024.

It appears that the major part of the renovations are in Part I. How do both phases appear to be of equal cost?

Phase I will include: extensive renovations to the high school, necessary repairs and upgrades to the middle school, and emergency repairs to our occupied elementary schools. The largest portion of Phase I funds are geared toward the gut renovation to the high school. Phase II allows for funding to reopen the Duggan School, and substantial upgrades to all elementary buildings, including Duggan. In this phase, the bond is divided amongst four schools, with all of them receiving large scale overhaul. In Phase I, the majority of funds goes to the high school with a smaller allocation for necessary repair and upgrades at the middle and elementary schools. Phase I will also include the tennis courts, and the shifting of the transportation center, which has fallen into significant disrepair.

Is it safe to assume that the "finalized plan of action" will include in detail what changes and renovations are to be expected?

Even though plans are not finalized as of yet, more specific and final plans will be given to the public prior to the vote. Please continue to keep an eye on our website for the most up to date information and please don't hesitate to reach out to

What happens if the bond is voted down?

There are a couple of options the Board of Education can take if the Bond Referendum is voted down. The Board can choose to put the Bond Referendum up for a second vote with no modifications or they can choose to modify the Referendum and ask the public to vote on the new proposal. The timeline to replace the debt service payment that is maturing in 2019 with a new debt service payment and not lose state aid or impact the tax cap becomes harder to achieve. A third option is to not do any capital improvements, but our facilities are in need of serious repairs and the State Education Department doesn’t approve multiple “emergency” projects if the facilities are not maintained with appropriate capital improvements. It is like if you buy a car and don’t ever change the oil, you can’t expect the warranty to cover the replacement of a new motor because the vehicle wasn’t properly maintained. The architects from Clark Patterson Lee did an intense review of our buildings and we are in need of serious repairs. The facilities committee reviewed the costs to repair our facilities with no improvements and the cost to make improvements. The cost to make improvements and make Monticello CSD the “shining star” of the county, was similar to the repair-only costs. It is our hope that the community sees the benefits to the students and the long term health of our school and community.

What are the plans for the St. John’s Street building?

The St. John’s Street building is not included in current plans. The district is currently in talks regarding Somerville Field and after those talks are finalized, the district will then discuss our next steps for the St. John’s Street building. For now, we are keeping the buildings safe and occupiable.

Will the traffic flow and parking lots be dealt with?

There will be significant changes to the transportation center and parking configuration at the main campus, which encompasses the high school, middle school and Kenneth L. Rutherford Elementary School and there will also be changes at the George L. Cooke Elementary School.

There will be minimal traffic and parking changes at Emma C. Chase and Corneilus Duggan Elementary Schools, as these two buildings see the least amount of traffic.

There was an enrollment study performed in 2012 that indicated a casino would have no impact on enrollment – what changed?

The planned restructuring of our grades will send 300-400 students into our elementary schools, with pre-kindergarten and sixth-grade students returning to our elementary buildings.

Currently, all pre-kindergarten students in the MCSD attend school at one location. In a district the geographical size of Monticello, this can create a hardship for some parents. In some cases, this limitation causes parents to choose to not enroll their children in pre-kindergarten. We would like to add a pre-kindergarten program at each elementary school so that our youngest students have the opportunity to develop a strong foundation for academic success in close proximity to their home.

In addition, we want to free up spaces and places for 21st –century learning at our secondary schools and remain a footprint on our main campus. Therefore, the district will shift to a junior/senior high school model, with junior high school serving students in grades 7 – 9 and senior high school serving grades 10-12.

It is also important to note that the casino was still a hypothetical vision on the horizon and that the actual casino-resort that is actually being built is significantly larger than the concept the study was based upon. Resorts World Catskills will not merely be a casino, but will also include an entertainment village, indoor water park and golf course, along with other amenities. A project of this magnitude will bring thousands of jobs into this area, and the middle-wage earners will need to live in close proximity to the casino.

Our current three elementary schools are at capacity. Expanding the community school options and reopening Duggan will make our district more desirable to potential new residents and will also enable the district to serve both the “new” elementary school students, created as a result of grade restructuring as well as the children of new residents.

With the elementary school phase 2 of the project being about ten years away from completion, what will you do regarding the septic, boiler and other emergency issues?

Emergency projects at all buildings will take place both now and in Phase I, including many large-scale elementary projects. The structural overhaul of the elementary buildings will take place in Phase 2.

Can we have a swimming pool? What about athletic improvements?

Although the district understands the lure of a pool and additional athletic fields, its current infrastructure and building needs are the top priority at this time.

There is a possibility that we may include additional fields as part of the final project, however, we need to ensure that we are able to make the necessary changes to our buildings within the limitations of our budget before exploring additional fields.

Unfortunately, the cost of the construction of, and the cost of insurance on, a swimming pool would overwhelm the district at this time and is not being considered as part of this capital improvement plan.

Can you give more specific information about high school improvements?

Many places and spaces, including science labs and the gymnasium, will be completely upgraded to support 21st-century learning. Please visit this fact sheet and power point presentation for additional details.

Will there be any changes to the middle school?

As the middle school is the district’s newest building, the proposed plan does not include any structural changes. However, the plan does include emergency repairs to the middle school as well as an upgrade to the pathway connecting the middle school and high school buildings.

When will the grades be restructured?

The grade restructuring will occur in tiers. As we build up the scope to be approved by the New York State Department of Education, we will ensure that as many people as possible are involved in the process. While we are planning for as little impact as possible, however, there will certainly be disruptions as the result of such a large-scale project.

For the high school, is any thought being given in the plans to creating a space where graduation could happen here, on our grounds, rather than out at sccc?

We are considering this in the size/scope of our gymnasium and theater. We do not have a final answer yet, but will keep all apprised of our final plans regarding location.

In reviewing the plans made for this project I have noted nothing other than tennis courts for the athletics program. What plans do you have for the fields which are in dire need of being repaired?

The capital improvement project’s primary goal is to address the safety and structural integrity of our buildings. There are numerous health and safety items as identified in a survey conducted by the district’s architectural firm, Clark Patterson Lee. For example, many areas of the high school have had to have been taken out of use due to flood damage, including one of our two gymnasiums. Our students currently must walk through offices in order to access the locker rooms. There are failing heating and cooling systems, electrical connections and boilers as well as insufficient drainage surrounding the high school and causing significant flood damage. Because the cost to address all of the necessary health and safety items is roughly the same amount it would cost to completely gut and renovate those spaces, we have presented the current plan to voters, which would not only repair, but also update these spaces.

While it’s possible that additional athletic fields may be incorporated into the final project, the district must ensure it is able to make all crucial repairs within the limitations of the proposed budget before considering other projects.

While the Monticello High School building is an “original”, or in other words, hasn’t had any renovations since it was built in the ‘60s, the same is not true for our athletic fields and as such, the necessary health and safety items must take precedence over athletic fields.

The proposed capital improvement project does include the construction of an auxiliary gymnasium, which would replace the gym which is currently unusable, as well as a competition gymnasium, with updated facilities and locker rooms.