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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 communications@k12mcsd.net. All questions will be answered within 3-5 business days and the responses will also be posted online.

One vision one goal one monticello


What ARE the total annual tax increases in Phase i and Phase Ii?

The district has received questions from the public regarding a line in an article published in the April 4 edition of the Times Herald Record which states, “Phase one would add $48 in taxes for the owner of a home assessed at $100,000.The second phase would cost homeowners of a house assessed at $100,000 about an additional $85.”

To clarify, the $85 annual increase in Phase II is inclusive of the $48 annual increase in Phase I. In other words, the $48 increase in Phase I, increases to $85 total in Phase II. It is not an additional $85 on top of $48.

Please know that the district, as part of its long-range planning, currently has no intention of overriding the tax levy cap. If a Board or Superintendent attempted to do so in future years, it would require a supermajority approval from the public.

I read the project includes a fully handicapped accessible athletic facility, wonderful! But I was wondering if the Special Education learning areas will be enhanced and in what other ways these kids will benefit from the projects?

 The athletic facilities are not the only spaces that will be handicapped accessible. Because so much of the project is a rebuild, rather than a repair, you can expect to see all new spaces, including bathrooms, the new theatre, new library, and classrooms to be built fully handicapped accessible.

Currently, most of our buildings are lacking in space, leading to situations where special education educators are providing their services in hallways and closets. Also, our Pupil Personnel Services offices have been taken out of use in the high school due to flood damage. The proposed plan would increase space at each building, and would provide dedicated resource rooms in some of the buildings so that our students and staff are able to provide and receive services in larger, less distracting and more comfortable environment.

The new classrooms will also be built to support 21st-century learning and will have collaborative areas as well as study areas and which will be flexible enough to accommodate assistive technology as it emerges.

Why is the district putting the capital bond project up for vote on April 5, rather than during the regular budget vote?

Capital projects are governed by a complex set of regulations, laws and approval processes which add a considerable amount of time between voter approval, the bonding process and groundbreaking.


In July 2019, the district is set to pay off a bond that had financed the construction of the middle school nearly 20 years ago. Because state aid calculations are partially based upon the amount of a district’s debt, being in debt is fiscally healthy for a school district as it typically correlates to an increase in state aid. It is common for school districts who find themselves in need of serious repair to replace one debt package with another, and the district plans to take advantage of this opportunity to increase state aid and minimize the tax impact to its residents.


With the initial plan rejected in December, the district sought to analyze community feedback and present a new plan to the public based upon that feedback as quickly as possible in order to preserve the opportunity to replace the debt package and keep taxpayer costs as low as possible. If the district pushed the vote to the middle of May, it would lose the opportunity to replace the debt package, as there would be insufficient time to receive approvals from the state and bond counselors/financial advisors in time to replace the bond. Without replacing the bond, the amount of state aid on this project would decrease, ultimately costing taxpayers more money.



Taking into account the legal process the district must follow to present a vote to the public, the first opportunity to put the proposal up for a vote would have been in the last week of March. However, because that date fell during the school’s scheduled spring break, the district chose to extend the date into the first week of April when more residents are likely to be home and available to vote.


Residents who will be out of town on April 5 are still encouraged to vote via absentee ballot. For more information about voting via absentee ballot, please visit: http://www.monticelloschools.net/BOE/Capital%20Improvement%20Project_absentee%20ballots.cfm

 

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?

Although the district understands the lure of a pool, 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.

 

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.

 

If we have been required to maintain and upkeep all properties we own, how is that we still need to address major health and safety concerns/Why haven’t many of these maintenance concerns been addressed years earlier since your report states that we are required to upkeep all properties the district owns?

The district is required to undergo a building condition survey every five years as part of NYS law, and a building condition survey commenced in the 2014-15 school year. Upon delivery of the results in the early part of the 2015-16 school year, the Board of Education became concerned about the validity of these results. For example, the last survey indicated the district’s roofs were in acceptable condition, despite leaks. The Board voted to hire a new architectural firm to repeat the building condition survey.

In an attempt to keep taxpayer impact low, the district had been making patchwork repairs to obvious structural issues, such as replacing glass in windows or patching pipes, rather than addressing the root causes of these issues. However, the results of the new building condition survey indicated more serious needs. Upon the receipt of the new survey’s results, the Board formed a facilities committee who worked closely with the architectural firm to create the proposed capital improvement project.

 

With the Duggan School opening, does that mean kids from Rock Hill and Monticello would change what elementary school they go to?

The district will reassess its enrollment at the time the buildings are complete, and redraw catchment lines as necessary.

 

Will students be shuffled out of buildings during the rebuild?

Although the district will attempt to minimize any distractions to the learning experience, such as strategically scheduling intensive repairs and/or renovations during times when school is not in session, the district will take any steps necessary to keep students safe during the construction period, which may include temporarily closing off portions of buildings and/or temporarily moving students to other buildings.

 

What actually are your top priorities and who is making these decisions? Shouldn’t they be based on critical concerns? Just awhile back you asked for new tennis courts…when it is now clear that single pane window replacement should have been a more obvious request.

The district's top priority is always the safety of its students and staff.

The tennis court project was initiated by community members, coaches and athletes approximately one year prior to the building condition survey that was the catalyst for this project. At that time, the district was unaware of the extent of the problems facing its structures.

The proposed capital improvement project before voters was planned over an 18-month period by a variety of stakeholders. When the Board received the new building condition survey that indicated the extent of the repairs needed, it formed a Facilities Committee comprised of Board members, staff, parents and residents, who worked with the district’s architectural firm to review the district’s needs and its options. In the spring of 2017, the district formed a Vision and Build committee, also comprised of Board members, staff, parents, community leaders and residents who worked in tandem with the Facilities Committee to prioritize the district’s needs. The district also held several community forums where the public was invited to share their feedback and ideas on the future of Monticello.

 

Will the tennis courts be open to the public in the summer?

One of the goals of this project is to create facilities that serve as the heart of the community. We anticipate that the track and tennis courts will be open to the public when school is not in session and when the courts are not being utilized for Monticello sporting events. Likewise, we anticipate the new theatre, media center, indoor athletic facilities and “Broadway” to be available for public use through the regular facilities request pathway.

 

Why on earth would we replace the high school auditorium before replacing antiquated boiler systems and single pane windows?

We wouldn’t. All emergency repair projects must be prioritized first.

 

Is Sommerville Field still part of the MCSD?

Yes.

 

How much is the bottom line for all the work to get done?

$110 million

 

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

The district is exploring opportunities that would keep the building safe, functional and a part of the the MCSD.

 

Why were taxes lowered when rooms were leaking?/Why were taxes lowered so much when the district knew they would need $ for fixing issues?

Districts are only able to complete $100,000 in project repairs without New York State Department of Education approval. Our goal in adjusting the budget early on was to begin to create a realistic budget built on facts. Our building condition survey has now provided us with the facts that we need to make appropriate improvements.

 

What are our enrollment numbers now for each grade level and what have they been for the past five years?

Click here for a report containing this information.

How many students have enrolled since the casino has been under construction and now opened?

Nine students have been enrolled by families stating that they are employed by the casino.


How much is the casino paying to the school in taxes and how much can the school district expect from the water park?/What is the level of financial support we can expect from the casino?

The casino is on a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes). The amount they pay increases each year until the end of the agreement when they will be paying full taxes. For the 17-18 school year we anticipated $227,165 as a “pre-opening” payment. For the 18-19 school year we anticipate $712,176 from the casino. 18-19 will be the first year PILOT payment for the waterpark and we anticipate $23,667. Those amounts are taken into consideration in the tax cap calculation, reducing the amount we can levy. Which is why even though CPI is 2% for the 18-19 calculation, MCSD’s levy can increase by only 0.74%.