Brasher Falls Central School District to vote on $17.6 million building project
Thursday, December 7, 2017 - 12:02 pm

By ANDY GARDNER

BRASHER FALLS -- Brasher Falls Central School District residents will be asked to vote on a $17.6 million building project that includes 106 items, including a new turf athletic field.

Voting will be Dec. 12 from noon to 8 p.m. in the middle school gym, which is near the main high school entrance.

Superintendent of Schools Bob Stewart said everything targeted in the project is a “scaled down” list that came from building and staff surveys, and items not done in a project 11 years ago.

“We have a lot of work that needs to be done,” Stewart said.

He says the district will be on the hook for $1.2 million of the cost, which they will start paying at a lower monthly rate after they retire debt they are now paying.

“Our local share will be $1.2 million, paid for over 15 years … our objective as a committee was to make sure there is no impact on the local taxpayer,” Stewart said. “We will retire $1.35 million in debt … this will dovetail in with retiring debt.”

He said half of the items are “infrastructure needs,” such as pipes, ductwork and crumbling basement ceilings with rusted rebar.

“Many things the public never sees,” Stewart said.

About 21 percent of the list are energy upgrades, such as lighting and insulation for pipes and ducts. About 6 percent of the work is getting things in compliance with building codes and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), like wheelchair accessibility, egress areas and fire safety, Stewart said.

Nineteen percent of the projects are “instructional upgrades,” “things like adding more electrical outlets to the classrooms so they meet our technology needs,” he said.

That also includes a new turf field with lighting. He said the current grass field is heavily used and is becoming a safety hazard that comes with a high maintenance price tag.

“They’ve become rutted, there’s rocks pushing up through the topsoil. It’s becoming a safety hazard,” he said. “We will be able to do multiple activities on the turf field, sports, PE classes, lights are included.

“We’re not building a stadium or anything, it’s a turf field with lights.”

He said they will also replace the middle and elementary locker rooms, which are from the original building, upgrade the wood shop to accommodate robotics and pre-engineering, and expand the music rooms to fit their growing program.

The page http://www.bfcsd.org/apps/news/article/778994 on the school’s website has more information about the 106-item list, including a video where Stewart shows everything they are proposing to work on.

“They can actually see for themselves … any of the things I’ve been talking about,” he said.