Oswego School Board Puts Capital Project In Voters’ Hands

OSWEGO, NY – At its meeting Tuesday night, the Oswego School Board unanimously voted to present a referendum on the May 15 ballot for a large capital project.

Voters will be asked to allow the district to spend up to $15 million on the project. The proposed cost of the work at five of the seven schools comes to $14,952,501, according to Superintendent Bill Crist.

The majority of the work involves roof repairs and HVAC work, he said.

Board members approved the environmental review survey associated with the proposed project and a bonding resolution for the construction as well.

Board member Fran Hoefer said he didn’t want to approve spending $15 million.

“You’re just approving putting it out there for the voters to decide,” Crist said.

The high school would receive just under $3 million (2.98) in improvements, he said.

“The lion’s share of that would be roof replacement and some repairs to the theater area,” he said.

Other areas include classroom space near the theater foyer and flooring repair among others.

Work at the middle school ($1.165 million) would include some security cameras, completion of work that was begun at the track and field area – the installation of lights on the existing conduits, and the reconstruction of the tennis courts, Crist said.

At Riley Elementary School, $2.13 million is slated for roof replacement, upgrading the air conditioning system in 34 rooms, and other work.

Leighton Elementary will see $1.9 million for roof replacement, additional work to the HVAC system including air conditioning to 25 classrooms and other work as needed.

At Minetto Elementary School, $1.1 million is earmarked for roof replacement, air conditioning work in eight classrooms and some other work.

“I’m not going to approve $15 million right now because I don’t believe we need all this stuff,” Hoefer said. “We don’t need a lot of this stuff. We haven’t discussed this $15 million project with any thoroughness. I want to analyze each one of these projects.”

“When I came on the board, I saw how desperate things needed to be fixed. You don’t want to wait until it gets that desperate that you got 30 buckets in a classroom at the middle school to collect all the water,” Board President John Dunsmoor pointed out. “We’re fixing things because they need fixing.”

Board member Sam Tripp pointed out the roofs were 13 or 14 years old when the district began a similar capital project seven years ago and they needed repairs then.

“Now it’s seven years later and they are 20 years old. It’s not that we’re doing something that was missed in the last project. It’s something that is time for us at this point to address now,” he said, adding it is something they need to address now so they don’t wind up with more buckets.

The other referendum on the ballot will be for the purchase of new buses.

A budget workshop is set of April 10, when public input will be allowed. The following Tuesday, the board will vote on the superintendent’s budget plan.

A state mandated public hearing will also be held on the budget on April 24.

For more budget information, visit www.oswego.org

Clarification: In reference to the OHS work, the superintendent was talking about projects 3A and 3B.

The restrooms are part of 3B which is money that was left over from the 2007 EXCEL project, but there are other portions to that aside from restrooms.

The roofing and work in the theatre area at OHS are part of 3A as is reroofing over the FPS gym.

3B also has wall repairs at FLS as well as several restrooms, flooring at OHS along with classroom modifications, replacement of a corroded heating pipe in the theatre area, replacing roof top units for the computer rooms as well as well as extensive loading dock work.


  1. $3 million, carried over from a previous capital project, is being used to renovate bathrooms at the high school. For $3 million, every student should have their own “throne”. Let’s have a reality check here… $3 million for bathroom reno? (Although I’m sure the contractor they “choose” will be very happy!)

  2. I have the same understanding as David. What a joke. Please people, this school district has shown all of us what an absolute mess it is. “Spending money like a drunken sailor” does not even begin to describe the mentality of the school Superintendent and School Board.

    The vote from the last capital project authorized the district to spend UP TO $48 million for a specified list of projects. When they only needed $45 million of taxpayer dollars to do such projects, they decided “ahh…what the heck…it’s just the taxpayers money…let’s squander it on bathrooms.”

    That $3 million could have been used to offset the cost of roofs

    Please folks, please vote no. We NEED to cut this school district off at the knees. These gluttonous pigs need to step back from the taxpayer trough.

    Bill Crist & crew are NOT entitled to unlimited amounts of MY money

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