Jul 27, 2014
Partly Cloudy

BOE Sends $48.2 Million Bond to Voters

The White Plains Board of Education approved financing for a $48.2 million spending plan that will be brought to a public vote on Oct. 23.

BOE Sends $48.2 Million Bond to Voters

The White Plains Board of Education has voted to borrow $48.2 million for renovations in 11 district buildings including $22.6 million for major renovations at Eastview Middle School.

White Plains residents will vote on the plan on Oct. 23.

School board members unanimously approved the plan during a meeting at the on Homeside Lane in White Plains Tuesday night.

"Hopefully people looking back 20 years from now will say 'you guys made a good decision in putting the money forward at that point in time to make these improvements'," said Jim Hricay, a board of education member.

If approved, the capital spending plan would raise the district's tax levy by .72 percent, which would increase the tax payment for an average White Plains home by $65.12 annually, according to district estimates.

Although the majority of the spending plan will go toward building renovations, board members addressed perceived concerns that $4.8 million will be spent adding WiFi internet to each district building. 

White Plains Superintendent Dr. Christopher Clouet said the wireless internet will be useful for periodicals, research and access to educational websites outside of the computer lab. Administrators will also use WiFi while doing teacher evaluations and other work.

"It's not about e-mail and texting," Clouet said.

Adding wireless internet now would also be easier since renovations are planned in almost every district building if the bond is approved, Clouet added.

Hricay, who said he was hesitant to support including WiFi in the proposal, said he understands how WiFi can be useful.

"I think it's important to get the message out there that this isn't just kids thumbing away in class," he said. "This is a learning tool."

A task force approved by the district has been working on the capital plan since reviewing the condition of district buildings in 2010. The board approved the Oct. 23 vote during its last meeting on Aug. 13 before finalizing the proposal Tuesday.

Clouet said he plans to discuss the spending plan at neighborhood association meetings and parent-teacher association meetings next month to give residents a more detailed look at the plan.

A breakdown of proposed spending by building is available .

Don’t miss updates from Patch!