Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why is the District having a bond vote?
A. Our District is committed to providing a safe learning environment and well-maintained facilities for students and public use. Routine facility maintenance and repair work is typically funded within the annual District budget, with local taxpayers bearing the full cost. However, large renovations, repairs and replacement of “end of useful life” items, such as those included in this project, would have a major impact on the tax rate if included in the annual District budget. A bond issue is the fiscally responsible alternative because the State reimburses a vast majority of the cost, and the expense is spread out over a longer period of time.
Q. How were the project’s components chosen?
A. Over the past several years, the District has been planning for the expansion of our kindergarten program to a full day while reviewing facility needs throughout the District. Every five years, all school districts are required by the State to have a certified Architect review the condition of their buildings and grounds. In 2015, our architectural consultants performed a Building Condition Survey (BCS) that examined the District’s facilities and identified problem areas requiring repair or replacement. A District subcommittee studied the BCS items and developed a prioritized list of recommended repairs and upgrades. The District is addressing those issues now, rather than delaying and facing future higher costs and further deterioration. Building Condition Survey items, academic program enhancements (including full-day kindergarten) and safety concerns received top priority, as did code compliance, mechanical systems and building envelope items. In other instances, work is required under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Q. What has changed from the Brookside plan that was considered last year?
A. Throughout the last school year, we explored the possibility of redeveloping the Brookside building into a K-2 building that would provide needed space for full-day kindergarten. However, after listening to feedback from the community, the Board of Education and District decided the local tax impact of the Brookside project was too high and the project did not address a broad enough scope of facilities needs across our District. This new project would instead include an addition at Council Rock that would accommodate full-day kindergarten, along with significant work that needs to be done at FRES, TCMS, and BHS. Furthermore, the local tax impact for this project would be significantly lower than the Brookside plan since more of the work qualifies for State Building Aid reimbursement.
Q. When will the work take place?
A. It is anticipated that construction will begin in Spring 2019 and reach completion by the end of 2021.
Q. What is the total cost of this proposed project and how will it affect my taxes?
A. The total cost of the project is $64,996,552. It will be paid for using a combination of State Building Aid, SMART Schools Bond Act funds, the district’s Capital Reserve Fund (which can be used only for capital improvements) and the local tax levy.
Q. Isn’t State Aid just my tax dollars too?
A. Yes, it is. The New York State Education Department budget and State Legislature has given all Districts in the state an opportunity to use tax dollars to enhance their communities through school building improvements and renovations. By taking advantage of this opportunity, we can reinvest some of those tax dollars back into Brighton, working to improve the educational setting for our children and the local community.
Q. What if the proposition does not pass?
A. In short, if the proposition does not pass, the project will not proceed as planned. However, the components of the project that are critical building safety issues will still have to be addressed as required by the State. The taxpayers would be responsible for the expenses through the annual budget and tax levy, without the benefit of State aid.
Q. Where can I find more about the capital project proposal?
A. Community presentations are scheduled for April 11 & 25 at 7:00 pm in the Administration Building’s Board Conference Room. There will be an open forum for questions and answers. Additional information resources are also available on the district’s web site.