Frequently Asked Questions
This page will be updated frequently with questions that come up throughout the pre-referendum process.
Why is the District pursuing full-day kindergarten?
In 2013, the discussion of full-day pre-kindergarten became a popular topic around the State of New York. This prompted the Board of Education to more formally investigate the implementation of a full-day kindergarten program here at Brighton. Brighton is among the last districts in the State to operate a half-day program and the Board wanted us to be prepared should full-day kindergarten be mandated by the State.
When did the District start investigating full-day kindergarten?
The discussion around the implementation of a full-day kindergarten program has being ongoing for decades. During the 2013-14 school year, the Board of Education commissioned a study to address three questions: 1) What would our academic program look like with a full-day kindergarten program? 2) Do we have the physical capacity to implement a program; and if not, what options does the District have? 3) Does our community want us to pursue the development of a full-day kindergarten program? Based on the presentations given to the Board in January 2014, the Board directed the Superintendent to develop a plan to implement full-day kindergarten.
Why is a building project necessary to support full-day kindergarten?
During the exploratory phase of investigating what full-day kindergarten would look like in Brighton, it was quickly determined that Council Rock did not have enough capacity to open an additional 6 to 8 kindergarten classrooms. Space is currently a concern at Council Rock – even with a half-day program. Unlike many other school districts, Brighton’s enrollment is stable, if not growing at some grades.
Why did the District pick the Brookside School as the location over expansion at Council Rock?
The decision to redevelop Brookside was made after a detailed architectural and engineering analysis was performed by SWBR Architects. Brookside was noted as having a more attractive site with room for future infrastructure expansion and two points of entry and egress; better option for construction phasing without disruption to current academic program; greater opportunity for sustainable design; and more options for school community engagement. When considering the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, Council Rock had greater advantages due to current systems being more modern. However, with a gut and rehab of Brookside, future operating costs have the opportunity to be less.
What will be done to improve the Brookside School?
The building will effectively be gutted and rehabilitated. We will use as much of the current infrastructure as possible to reduce costs, but all mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems will be new. In addition, during the pre-referendum work, the architects will engage the school community to create an innovative but malleable 21st Century Learning community.
What grades will be housed at Brookside when the project is complete?
We are designing a K-2 school to supplant Council Rock. We are also designing the building considering the future incorporation of a pre-kindergarten program. Space and cost will impact our ability to expand our program to include Pre-K.
Will any grade level changes happen at French Road Elementary School, Twelve Corners Middle School, or Brighton High School?
The exploratory committee reviewed all different configurations before deciding on the Brookside option. The Board wanted to maintain the same grade level configurations and avoid redistricting or splitting grade levels between two or more buildings. For that reason and considering the space considerations at the other schools, no other building grade configurations will be impacted.
What will happen to Council Rock Primary School after the new building is complete?
Council Rock is a building that is in excellent condition and we hope to be able to continue our partnership with the Town of Brighton, the Montessori School of Rochester, Brighton Your Wardrobe, the Brighton Food Cupboard, Monroe County School Boards Association, and the YMCA, all of whom are valued tenants at Brookside.
Who owns the Brookside School?
The Brighton Central School District owns the Brookside School. It has been partners with the Town of Brighton, who rents a good majority of the space at Brookside. The District also has other valued tenants that we hope to be able to continue to partner with.
What opportunities are there for public input?
Over the next several months and before the Board decides to put the project on the ballot for public referendum, there will be several opportunities for public input. Please refer to the District web page for a list of meeting dates and times.
How will the project be paid for?
Given the likely magnitude of the cost of the project, the District will be issuing debt by selling bonds. The repayment of that debt will be made using State building aid and local tax dollars.
What will the impact be on property taxes?
The estimated impact on local tax dollars will not be finalized until the pre-referendum work is complete and we have a sense of how much State building aid the project will be eligible for. Preliminarily, based on rough costs per square foot and aid estimates prepared by our architects applying their knowledge of the SED aid formula, the project may result in an average annual increase to the taxpayer in the amount of $354. This represents the annual increase for an average home valued at $200,000 before STAR savings.
If approved, when would construction begin and when would the new school begin operating?
Once the project is approved, it would likely take 8 to 10 months to complete the architectural and engineering plans and specifications required for State Education Department review. Once submitted to the State, it is estimated that State Education Department review will take another 6 to 10 months. With State Education Department approval, the bid process is likely to take two months and then construction could begin within 2 to 3 months after that. Therefore, from referendum to a shovel in the ground, the process is likely to take up to 25 months. With the Brookside campus, construction could take place throughout the year. The District would partner with the Town and all of its tenants on a construction schedule to not displace programs and services.