Germantown voters OK upgrades and auditorium

GERMANTOWN—Voters in the Germantown Central School District approved both propositions on the ballot in a special district-wide referendum held Thursday, June 11. The outcome means that the district can make repairs and upgrades to the school building , and it can build an auditorium.

The vote on Proposition #1 was 452 Yes to 263 No.

Proposition #1, for $5.9 million, covers 28 items for repairs and updates, from connecting to the town’s sewer system on Route 9G to improving ventilation and air quality on the building’s second floor. The biggest item is $740,000 for renovating the baseball and softball fields.

The vote on Proposition #2 was 361 Yes to 350 No.

Proposition #2, for $4.3 million, will fund an addition on the east side of the school with a secure entrance, band room, theater arts classroom, auditorium, rest rooms and lobby. Also part Proposition # 2 are bleachers for the current gym and relocating the outdoor basketball court and playground to make room for the addition.

The total cost of the two propositions, including contingencies of 10% for design and 8% for construction, plus 20% for soft costs, is $11,382,056. The state will pay 58.8% of the cost and the district Capital Reserve will contribute $500,000. The estimated local share of the combined larger project per year is $435,939.

School officials said ahead of the vote that a tax increase would begin in 2021. It would be $0.378 per $1,000 of assessed value; this would mean that a home assessed at $160,000 would see an estimated yearly tax increase with no exemptions of $60.48. With a state STAR exemption (primary residence, any age, income limit of $500,000), the increase would be $49.14. For those with an Enhanced STAR exemption (primary residence, 65 or older, income limit of $84,550) there would be no increase.

Germantown schools Superintendent Susan Brown issued a statement following the referendum thanking district residents who voted on behalf of the school board and herself. “We would also like to thank the community members who served on the Community Facilities Committee and the many volunteers who helped provide information to our residents so they could make an informed decision on the capital project proposals. In addition, we thank Virginia LuPone, Catskill CSD Media Communications Teacher and her Upstate Media Academy students who created a wonderful movie about our district.”

The release also said that students, parents, community members and staff will be invited to serve on design teams for the various projects approved by voters. Anyone interested in serving on a Design Team should contact District Clerk Linda Anderson, 518 537-6281 ext. 302.

Last March the school board put a single proposition before voters that combined the key elements of both projects. That proposal was narrowly defeated.

Debby Mayer contributed to this story.

 

 

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