Medina school leaders seek public support for $34 million in upgrades

Photos by Tom Rivers: Mark Kruzynski, director of finance for Medina Central School, goes over $34 million in work to the school district as part of two propositions that go before voters from noon to 8 p.m. on Dec. 21. Voting is at the District Office.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 December 2016 at 10:27 am

MEDINA – District residents next Wednesday (Dec. 21) will vote on whether the district can move forward with two propositions totaling $34 million.

One proposition calls for $32,588,000 for a slew of improvements at all three school buildings, the bus garage, and Vet’s Park. There would also be a new access road between Oak Orchard Elementary School and Clifford Wise Middle School.

The other proposition for $1,425,000 would allow for an expansion at Vet’s Park by acquiring 1.6 acres of land south of the park, adding permanent bleachers, more lighting, a new press box in the bleacher system, new fencing and additional synthetic turf in the current press box location.

The district has the local share of the project in its reserves, so there won’t be a hike in local taxes for the project, Tom Cox, interim school district superintendent, said at a public hearing on Tuesday.

“We feel we have been able to address the compelling needs,” Cox told about a dozen people at a public hearing. “It’s pretty much nuts and bolts but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some pretty nice stuff that will happen.”

Cox and Mark Kruzynski, the district’s director of finance, said Medina worked with staff, the Board of Education, community members and an architect and construction firm to narrow the capital project from an initial list that topped $50 million.

Cox and Kruzynski detailed the project in a power point presentation on Tuesday.

Here is how they break down the project:

• Health, Safety and Code Compliance – $7,691,000

The district would replace aging bus lifts, upgrade the fire alarm systems, door hardware and toilets.

The roof, ceiling panels and wall panels would all be upgraded at the swimming pool.

Windows and a generator would be replaced at Oak Orchard Elementary School. Those windows are more than a half century old.

The project expenses are broken out to $3,637,300 at the elementary school, $2,562,400 at the middle school, $892,800 at high school, $561,500 at bus garage and $7,000 at concession stand.

• HVAC – $13,596,300

All three school buildings, as well as the bus garage, will have HVAC totally overhauled with $4,728,200 planned for the high school, $4,115,200 at the middle school, $4,103,000 at the elementary school and $649,900 for the bus garage.

The district also wants to add air-conditioning for the high, middle and elementary schools at $285,600 per building or $856,800 total.

The HVAC and air conditioning projects would be funded 98 percent by the state.

The boilers are all about 25 years old and are nearing the end of the their useful lives, Kruzynski said.

If the district tried to fix a boiler or install air-conditioning outside of a capital project, Medina would have to pay 100 percent of the costs.

• Information Technology – $380,000

The district wants to move the network operations center from the basement of the district office to Oak Orchard Elementary School.

The project would also add fiber optics to handle future needs as Medina moves to more electronic devices and on-line testing.

Tom Cox, Medina interim school superintendent, discusses the capital project on Tuesday evening during a public hearing in the high school auditorium. Only about a dozen people attended the forum.

Tom Cox, Medina interim school superintendent, discusses the capital project on Tuesday evening during a public hearing in the high school auditorium. Only about a dozen people attended the forum.

• Academics/Programs at High School – $2,408,900

The project would include upgraded science rooms, renovations in library (by knocking out a wall and expanding to a next-door computer lab), replacing windows and renovating toilet facilities.

A pole barn would also be built for storage for marching band equipment (so no longer have to rent at Olde Pickle Factory).

The gym bleachers would be renovated, and JV softball and baseball fields would be upgraded. There would also be renovations in Ag Classroom and greenhouse.

The high school opened about 25 years ago and needs some work, especially with HVAC and to meet new state codes and technology needs, Kruzynski said.

•  Academics/Programs at Middle School – $1,028,000

The project includes renovations to the auditorium with stage floor, carpet, houselighting, some lighting and sound, and also some toilet renovations.

• Academics/Programs at Elementary School – $2,085,600

The project includes auditorium renovations – carpet, seating, general, and improvements to toilets, new drinking fountains, classroom storage units with sinks, upgrades to the playground, and provisions to abate hazardous materials if any are found inside walls during the construction project.

• Vet’s Park Site Work – $2,200,000 (part of $32.6 million Proposition 1)

Remove and replace turf that is 15 years old. The district also wants to improve drainage, complete sub-base reconstruction, replace fencing as needed, install a new scoreboard and sound system, add a new back stop and movable mounds for baseball and softball, reconfigure and expand the bleacher system and add new walkways.

• Site work for track – $896,000

The track has already been resurfaced six times and the state won’t pay for another resurfacing but will aid a reconstruction of the site, Kruzynski said. The rebuilt track will have six lanes, event area, a scoreboard, and fencing and paving.

• Site work for road from elementary to middle school – $3,012,700

A campus road will be constructed between Oak Orchard Elementary and Wise Middle School for bus traffic. The road will be heavy duty for buses.

The project includes demolition, removal and grading, as well as new sidewalks, stormwater management, parking and road lighting, removal of playground and construction of a new one for younger elementary-age students, and restored landscaping.

A new parking lot with room for 70-75 vehicles also would be added.

• Proposition 2 for site work at Vet’s Park – $1,425,000

This is a separate proposition with its own vote. The district wants to acquire 1.6 acres south of current facility, which will allow bleachers and the press box to me pushed back farther from the field so there would be more room for permanent bleachers.

The district is negotiating to buy the land and the price is far less than $1,425,000, Kruzynski said.

Most of the proposition costs are for demolition, drainage, base work, as well as additional fencing, more permanent bleachers, a new press box, additional lighting and electrical needs, and landscape restoration.

The district already has $2,323,182 set aside in reserve funds for its share of the $34 million project.

For more on the capital project, click here.

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