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**NEWS RELEASE**

Proposed Bond Includes High-Priority Capital Infrastructure Improvements &

Pilot "Pathfinder" Initiatives that Support District's Bold Vision for the Future

Board Expected to Vote Nov. 6  on Proposed Bond Amount


MAMARONECK, NY, September 26, 2018 -- A proposed bond referendum to improve infrastructure at all six schools was presented at last night's Board of Education meeting, the first in a series of community meetings that will focus on a potential February bond vote date.  The recommendations include capital project work to maintain safe and viable school buildings and ensure code compliance; they also include "pathfinder" pilot projects for innovative classroom space reconfiguration that supports targeted educational outcomes and plans for the future of education in Mamaroneck Schools.


Capital improvement recommendations are the culmination of several years of work by a team consisting of the District Building Committee (made up of community members, parents, Board members, and industry professionals), LAN Associates (the District's architecture, engineering and planning firm of 25+ years), and Mamaroneck School District's facilities department/administration. The team has been studying the capital needs of the District since it began putting together the required NY State Education Department Building Condition Survey & Five Year Capital Plan in 2015 and identified critical site, infrastructure and facilities deficiencies.


"This is an accumulation of projects that were identified as being necessary years ago, many of them prior to the last facilities bond in 2012, but set aside because of other priorities," said LAN Vice President Michael McGovern, who has been working with the District for the past two decades and is intimately familiar with all of its school buildings.  "The work is needed to maintain safe, sustainable and quality educational facilities. Similarly to changing the oil in your car, bigger and more expensive problems develop in the future if you wait too long to address."


Preserving/Maintaining  Existing Buildings & Improving ADA Compliance

Capital recommendations are broken into categories:

  • Site Improvements (such as repairing and replacing sidewalks, fences and/or retaining walls)
  • Building Envelope (e.g., door/roof/window replacements, masonry restoration)
  • Interior Improvements (e.g., floor/ceiling repairs, door replacements, asbestos abatement)
  • Mechanical/Electrical/Plumbing (e.g., new fire alarm and security systems, new boilers and chillers, auditorium air conditioning, electrical upgrades, clock systems and lighting replacements)


Several items in the bond, such as elevator installations at Mamaroneck Ave. School, Chatsworth Ave. School and Murray Ave. School, are aimed at ensuring the District is in compliance  with ADA code requirements and that school facilities are accessible to those with disabilities.


"The list of projects reflected in this bond represents a prioritization of projects after careful and thoughtful consideration," McGovern said.  "The work is critical to maintaining and preserving the District's buildings."


LAN noted that Mamaroneck's school buildings range in age from 50-116 years old, and there is an additional $19 million of work that was identified in the building report, but the team opted to defer until a later time.  

 

Planning for the Future of Education: Creating Innovative Learning Spaces

Fielding Nair International -- an award-winning global leader in education planning and architectural design -- has been visiting Mamaroneck's school buildings since last spring, looking at opportunities to support 21st century teaching and learning and enhance student performance.  A community conversation devoted to understanding emerging leading practices in education design, with Jay Litman (Principal, Fielding Nair) as facilitator, is planned for 7 pm on Thursday evening, October 11th at Hommocks Middle School.


Aligned with the notion that interdisciplinary learning spaces are integral to 21st century innovative school design, LAN presented a proposed culinary arts lab at Mamaroneck High School. Building on the culinary arts program that has been growing over the past several years, the newly configured culinary area would replicate an actual commercial kitchen and include six student work stations, as well as a demonstration station, a multi-purpose room and a possible cafe that could be opened up to the broader community during non-school hours.

 

"We are excited about creating new pathways to support the varied passions of our students and our bold vision for the future of education," Dr. Shaps said.  "A culinary lab would be one way of doing this with real-world applications, enabling students to learn on the equipment they would be using in the field."


Bond Financing/Next Steps

A suggested timeline around the proposed $54 million bond, which addresses many items in need of replacement that may not otherwise be financed through the annual operating budget, includes a tentative Feb. 5 community vote, followed by construction document preparation, submittals and review by the NY State Education Department, project bidding and more. Construction would span two summers - 2020 and 2021


Assistant Superintendent for Business Operations, Sylvia Wallach, took the Board through several possible financing scenarios and discussed the potential financial impact on taxpayers. The Board is expected to vote Nov. 6 on the approval of a proposed bond amount.  Until then, community members have the chance to weigh in on the bond and ask questions. The next Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 2, when proposed bond discussion will continue. 

 
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