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Home » » Hunter-Tannersville to Embark on $13.6 Million Capital Project

Hunter-Tannersville to Embark on $13.6 Million Capital Project

Written By The Mountain Eagle on 4/26/24 | 4/26/24

By Max Oppen

TANNERSVILLE — Last May, voters approved a $13,646,000 capital project that is expected to commence in the summer of 2025. The project, greenlit last year by a decisive 165-107 vote margin, aims to revolutionize school infrastructure and enhance the overall learning environment for students and the broader community. The construction phase is expected to last approximately 14 months, with much of the work completed by August 2026.

The project, crafted through extensive stakeholder engagement and thorough analysis, utilized tools like a Thought Exchange survey. The district also sought input from various stakeholders to ensure the project's priorities resonated with the community's needs.

According to the newly appointed superintendent, Dr. Vincent Butera, architect John Sharkey will oversee this endeavor. Delhi-based Schoolhouse Services, LLC will perform the construction. 

In an email, Dr. Butera said the District has worked successfully with both parties in the past and is "very pleased to be doing so again."

Collaborative efforts were instrumental in shaping a comprehensive plan that addresses critical areas identified in the 2022-23 Building Condition Survey (BCS), which the New York State Education Department (NYSED) mandates every five years.

The Survey's objectives include rectifying infrastructure deemed "unsatisfactory" or "failed" in the BCS report. This includes as-needed upgrades to ensure the safety, proper ventilation, and overall functionality of district facilities. It includes things like building temperature, fire safety, and much more.

The 2025 Capital Project is "tax neutral," and according to the District will not impose an additional burden on taxpayers. According to the NYSED, the District's enrollment has steadily declined. For the 1999/2000 school year, the district had 561 students. There were 323 students districtwide for the 2022/2023 school year.  

Highlights of the project include the construction of a dedicated auditorium for drama productions and public meetings, a new and expanded school gymnasium, fitness center, fitness room, tennis courts, and additional parking facilities. These enhancements cater to students' evolving needs and aim to foster greater community engagement and involvement. The new facilities will be available for community use outside school hours, providing a space for recreational activities and community events.

Safety is also a concern for HTC, reflected in proposed measures such as installing an automatic lockdown button and digital signage with flashing lights to alert occupants in emergencies. Furthermore, plans entail implementing automatic door badges for staff, providing enhanced control over room access for added security.

According to the District, Hunter-Tannersville has been working on its safety improvements for approximately six years.

Land acquisition plays a pivotal role in realizing the project's objectives, with plans to purchase an adjacent parcel from The Hunter Foundation for the new tennis courts and parking lot. According to The Hunter Foundation's Executive Director Sean Mahoney, negotiations are underway for the parcel.

The scope of improvements extends across both Hunter Elementary and Tannersville Middle/High Schools.

The Board of Education recently approved an increase of $10,000 to purchase 0.71 acres next to the Elementary School in Hunter from the Village, bringing the total cost of the parcel to $50,000. The district will use the space to add 50 new parking spaces and another entrance off Route 23A. Village Mayor Alan Higgins said the site was originally appraised at $125,000. 

Bathroom fixtures from 1935 will be updated, as will the 90-year old ceiling. The existing parking lot will be resurfaced. The Elementary School’s playground area will also be updated.

Funding for the capital project will be sourced from the district's Capital Reserve Fund and bonding, with the Board of Education (BOE) receiving approval to expend $3,045,000 from reserves and bond the remaining $10,601,000.

Dr. Butera said, "We look forward to working with the team to ensure that the project is completed as envisioned and that it continues to support our goal of providing students with greater access and opportunities and allows us to build strong connections with the community."

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