23 Aug 2014
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Yorktown, Lakeland BOE Vote 'Yes' to BOCES Capital Project Plan

The 18 constituent districts of Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES had to vote on Tuesday on a revised capital plan to maintain the Yorktown-area campus' facilities.

Yorktown, Lakeland BOE Vote 'Yes' to BOCES Capital Project Plan Yorktown, Lakeland BOE Vote 'Yes' to BOCES Capital Project Plan Yorktown, Lakeland BOE Vote 'Yes' to BOCES Capital Project Plan

Yorktown and Lakeland school districts' board of education members have voted in favor of contributing to the $16.9 million capital plan for Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES to renovate its Yorktown facilities.

Yorktown board of education members voted unanimously Tuesday morning, according to Karli Wheeler, the district's media manager.

Lakeland board of education members voted on the project last week – approving the district's contribution with a 7-1 vote, the district's spokesperson James VanDeVelde said.

The initial iteration, which cost $19,050,000, was presented in 2011 to the 18 school districts that use the facilities. But BOCES came back with a slimmed-downed plan costing $16,944,701 when the initial project was voted down by six out of 18 component districts, including Yorktown and Chappaqua. 

For the second time in less than a year the Chappaqua's school board rejected the capital plan on Tuesday. Brewster and Mahopac school districts also voted no on the proposed capital projects plan.

Despite Yorktown and Lakeland's approval, unanimous passage from all 18 school districts that use BOCES facilities was needed for BOCES to move the process forward.

The second plan had a range of cost cuts, such as replacing a therapy pool with two smaller units, changing to a 60 mil. rubber membrane roof for work and using a smaller HVAC unit in one of the buildings.

BOCES maintains that the changes are necessary to keep its infrastructure up to date. 

Yorktown and Lakeland are among the 18 districts that jointly own the sprawling bi-county educational facility in Yorktown and one rejection is enough to scuttle the project. Since BOCES is not a taxing entity, it needs the approval of all 18 school boards before the project can proceed.

Besides Lakeland and Yorktown, member districts of Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES are Bedford, Brewster, Briarcliff, Carmel, Chappaqua, Croton-Harmon, Garrison, Haldane, Hendrick Hudson, Katonah-Lewisboro, Lakeland, Mahopac, North Salem, Ossining, Putnam Valley and Somers.

Below is BOCES' scope of project (italics added for visual differentiation from the story):

While the four components of the Capital Project – roofs, HVAC, therapy pool and fire alarm/PA system upgrade – remain the same, significant changes have been made to the scope of work as a result of modifications to the materials, engineering and methodology used. The net result is an 11.05% or $2,105,299 reduction in total cost from the original proposal.

Total cost of the project: $16,944,701.

The four components are as follows:

Roofs: While the original plan called for 90 mil rubber membranes to be installed on nine of our building roofs, we have decided to go with a 60 mil membrane and will replace only eight of the roofs. To extend the life of the roofs beyond the warranty, our Maintenance and Operations staff will be instructed in optimum maintenance practices of this type of roof. In addition, we have determined that the roof on Building E can be re-coated, rather than replaced, further reducing costs.

HVAC: As a result of value engineering, we have been able to make significant reductions in the HVAC portion of the Capital Project proposal. The new proposal calls for: using existing duct work in our Tech Center building; lowering ceilings in some buildings, which will allow us to purchase smaller HVAC units; and removing but not replacing ceiling tiles in certain shop areas and the gymnasium. In addition, we will be installing energy-efficient HVAC units, lighting and building control systems that will enable us to save energy and reduce operating costs. We also plan to apply for rebates and incentives for those items from NYSERDA.

Therapy Pool: The lion’s share of cost reductions in the Capital Project have resulted from changes to the therapy pool portion of the proposal. Rather than refurbish the existing pool, we plan to fill in the pool and install two 8-foot-by 12-foot Hydroworx 2000 series Therapy Pools. What’s more, the sophisticated functionality of these pools will allow for more effective therapy for our students. These self-contained units eliminate the need to replace the filtration, chlorination and heating systems for the larger pool, as well as some other extensive renovations that would have been required by the Department of Health had we maintained the current pool facility.

Fire Alarm/PA system: The upgrade to the fire alarm/PA system in our Administration Building will complete the upgrade of such systems in all of our buildings. At $150,000, it represents less than 1% of the total Capital Project cost.

Calculating each district’s share of the capital project cost:

  • the percentage used to calculate the district’s share is the same percentage that is used to determine each district’s share of BOCES’ Administrative Budget. It is calculated based on a 50/50 hybrid of a combined True Value (Property Wealth) and Resident Weighted Average Daily Attendance (Student enrollment).
  • We will use $1.5 million of our Capital Fund to help offset the cost for the project. During the 2014-2015 school year, BOCES will not bill our districts their portion of the $600,000 contribution to the Capital Fund. This will enable districts to redirect their money to help with the financing of the Capital Project.
  • Based on current aid levels, 14 or our 18 component districts will receive aid from the state to offset some of the annual cost of the BOCES project.

PNW BOCES is one of 37 collaborative school districts in New York State. It offers cost-effective, high quality programs to 18 districts in the region. Those programs include special education, career and technical education, professional development, curriculum and management services. BOCES’ buildings are owned collectively by the districts in the region.

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