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District to launch extensive facility planning process

Oct. 26, 2016

In light of the recent coverage stemming from the community forum on Oct. 22, we feel that it is important for community members to have a clear understanding of how priority project costs –such as re-opening a school – are estimated, assessed and put into action.

As the Monticello Central School District continues to evaluate its facilities for improvements and updates necessary to protect taxpayers' investments, administrators and board of education members will explore the results of its Building Condition Survey in hopes of developing a comprehensive facilities improvement plan.

Earlier this year, Savin Engineers, P.C., an engineering and construction firm based in Pleasantville, completed the district’s state-mandated Building Condition Survey and identified about $35.8 million in potential projects that would update the building exterior and structure, plumbing, compliance and security of all district-owned schools and buildings over a five year period. If all of the identified maintenance work noted in the survey were completed, the cost would be close to – or exceed – $35,793,223.

It is important to note that the survey itself is a requirement mandated by the state Education Department in which districts complete a basic condition survey for the outer “wear-and-tear” of each of its buildings. It’s suggested repairs and updates do not take into account modifications to the buildings that would enhance instructional opportunities and/or programs and services.

A key element of the Building Condition Survey, which details specific needs building by building, is the chart that suggests what projects should be addressed first over a five year period. In its report, Savin Engineers estimated that it would cost approximately $7.3 million dollars to make repairs at Cornelius Duggan Elementary School. About $2 million of that money would go toward the outer “wear-and-tear; the remaining $5.3 million would go toward making the interior ready for students and staff. View a copy of the survey here.

Although the district is still considering reopening the Cornelius Duggan Elementary School, the survey’s findings have prompted the administration and board to review the report for accuracy so that a cohesive plan supported by the community can be developed.
To assist in the review and planning, the district has hired Clark Patterson Lee, an architectural engineering firm that includes long-range planning in its specialties, to review documents such as the Building Condition Survey, conduct focus groups and interviews with the district’s facilities committee (comprised of school leadership and staff members as well as community members,) and to ultimately develop a suggested long-range plan for the district to follow.

As we sift through the findings and recommendations for each individual building, we will be considering our next steps through the lens of what is best for the district as a whole, as well as our community,” Superintendent of Schools Tammy Mangus said. “The Board of Education plans to gather feedback from all key stakeholders, including parents, staff and residents.”

Providing the first and best source of district news:

The district encourages community members to learn about the challenges and opportunities facing the district by taking part in the discussion. Information about upcoming board of education meetings and community forums will be posted to the district website, www.monticelloschools.net.