KINDERHOOK–The Ichabod Crane Board of Education had another discussion, this one during the August 21 meeting, on a possible capital improvement project.
The board is looking at a facilities study that suggests about $40 million of work that could be done to improve the district. The study includes work at all the school buildings and the grounds. The board has been going over each part of a possible project to determine what they plan to ask voters to approve at a special vote in December.
Since discussions on the project started last spring, the board has also looked at doing several phases of work, with the December vote being phase one and other parts of the project put off to a second phase or even third.
Board President Matthew Nelson said that the $40-million number in the scope of work “is off the table out of the gate” and that the board will bring the cost of the project down as board members review what projects the board supports. He said the board had a date in October by which it must finalize the proposal so it is ready for a December referendum.
The board briefly talked about moving the vote to May 2019 to allow more time to review the plan, but they were told by district Business Administrator Michael Brennan that moving the vote out six months would set back the construction schedule by 18 months. The plan needs state approval before construction bids can go out and most of the work needs to be done in the summer while there are no students on campus, which shortens construction time.
At the meeting, there was more discussion on updating math, science and technology classrooms in the high school for a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) program.
The board also looked at numbers for upgrading the middle school music wing, which would cost about $1 million. A sound booth in the high school auditorium would cost about $44,000 and repairs to the stage would be $27,400.
There was also discussion about an on-campus road connecting the three school buildings. Board members brought up safety questions raised by having only one road to the middle school, saying that if there is an emergency at the nearby traffic circle, buses would have to transport primary school students down State Farm Road. Board member Dan Cohn pointed out that the traffic circle has been closed several times this year.
“It’s a safety issue,” he said.
The road is not currently part of phase one of the capital project, according to Mr. Nelson. Adding a synthetic surface at the sports field on campus is also not in phase one.
The list of items the board is considering is on the district’s website, www.ichabodcrane.org.
The Board of Education has scheduled a workshop meeting for Wednesday, September 5 at 6 p.m. in the high school library to continue discussing the capital improvement project. According to the press release from the school, “this workshop will be a board discussion only and no action will be taken at this meeting.”
The next regular board meeting will be Tuesday, September 11 in the high school library.
To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale at