OSWEGO COUNTY, NY -Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Oswego County BOCES will host a public vote this fall, seeking approval for a proposed $48.4 million capital project.
BOCES Superintendent Joseph Camerino presented a report of the project this week for the Fulton Board of Education. He explained that the project focuses overall on improvements and renovations to enhance safety, security and technology at the campus.
Camerino explained that the average building age at the current campus is 28 years old. Of 24 buildings, 19 are wooden and five are constructed of masonry and steel. The main building at BOCES was completed in 1969. The Stern building, which currently houses the majority of special education students, was constructed in 1973.
Scattered around the campus, several wooden buildings were put up as temporary structures in the 1980s. While expected to have an eight year ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œlife expectancy,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â the buildings are now approaching 30 years old.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œFive buildings have been closed for occupancy,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Camerino said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œAnother 10 buildings have less than five years of useful life.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Several of the structures have significant damage and environmental issues, such as water concerns and humidity problems. The server and telephone rooms are overcrowded, resulting in system failures because of overheating, he said.
Because there is inadequate classroom space in the main building, students are required to walk outside in every kind of weather to get to classes, the cafeteria and the nurses office. Camerino noted, too, that plumbing and electrical systems are outdated. The clock and bell system, as well as the fire alarm, are original systems.
Showing a diagram of existing traffic patterns on the campus, Camerino detailed a web of transportation and pedestrian traffic around the campus. He noted that there are 89 entrance/exit points to the various buildings.
The proposed design, he said, would provide a single point of entry to the campus and to the buildings. By moving programs and administrative services, like programs would be kept together and all buildings would be linked so that people do not have to leave the building once they arrive.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe entire building will become one big student center. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦ Everything will be connected,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â he said.
The project will add 18 general purpose classrooms in education to replace the transfer of students from the Stern building and other closed locations. A multi-purpose room, a new media center, a reconstructed cafeteria, a focused main entry complete with ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œstorefrontsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â where occupational-education students can sell goods and a new heavy equipment classroom are also included in the plan.
Infrastructure improvements will focus on HVAC, electrical, plumbing, fire alarm, communication and security systems. Plans for ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œgreenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â and/or energy saving and alternative energy technology are also included, as well as furniture and equipment for all student programs.
The project comes in with a $48,431,799 price tag. Existing BOCES capital funds totaling $1.7 million would be used to offset the costs. The district also anticipates an estimated 90 percent reimbursement of projects costs that are eligible for state aid.
The local share would be divided among the nine county school districts that are included in the Oswego County BOCES region. Camerino noted that the net cost of the project for Fulton would be approximately $135,800 per year. He said BOCES will continue to investigate options to bring the local share down.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIt would be about three years before it would be an impact on your budget,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â he said.
Board clerk Dan Pawlewicz said he has recently spent time at BOCES and believes it is time to address the needs at the campus.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s obviously in need of some construction,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Pawlewicz said. He said building a project that focuses on safety, security and technology is ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œright on target.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Residents in the BOCES region will vote on the proposed plan Nov. 12. Camerino said the project timeline anticipates State Education Department approval by January 2010. Construction would begin by June 2010 and be completed by December 2012.
The vote will be held from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at 13 polling places around the county. In Fulton, he said polling sites will be set up at Volney Elementary School and the Fulton War Memorial.
Individuals residing anywhere within the BOCES region for at least 30 days prior to the vote who are U.S. citizens and at least 18 years old can weigh in on the project.