Phoenix School District Proposes Tax-Neutral Capital Project

PHOENIX – The Phoenix Central School District is exploring a $38.2 million capital project that would upgrade district facilities for 21st century learning and address safety, compliance and energy efficiency items.

The tax-neutral proposal will be on the ballot in a referendum vote Feb. 28 from noon to 9 p.m. at Emerson J. Dillon Middle School.

Prior to the vote, district residents will have an opportunity to discuss the proposed renovations and tour John C. Birdlebough High School, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 16 in the cafeteria.

According to Karl Seckner, the district’s Assistant Superintendent of Finance & Educational Services, the project addresses priority items, many of which were identified through a building condition assessment, and does so in a fiscally responsible way.

“The district will utilize funds from its capital reserve — which was previously established by voters – along with regular building aid and future retirement of debt,” Seckner said. “Therefore, we anticipate no additional cost to the taxpayer.”

With the availability of critical funding, the district selected items to be included in the capital project.

The majority of work would be conducted at JCB, where some of the classrooms have not received significant improvements since 1955.

Seckner noted that the renovations at JCB would include classroom upgrades to improve lighting and wiring; auditorium improvements such as new stage lighting, sound system and air conditioning; a new 2,000 square-foot addition and renovation of existing space to relocate the band and chorus rooms; technology upgrades; window and roof replacement; renovations to create a new wrestling room and athletic storage area; synthetic turf adjacent to the current stadium; and lighting of both fields.

“Within the project, the district will also be conducting $3.4 million in energy efficiency initiatives, such as boiler controls and LED lighting that will create energy savings on the investment,” Seckner said. “Other work will include much-needed roof and some window replacement at Michael A. Maroun Elementary School and Emerson J. Dillion Middle School.”

If the project is approved by voters, the district is anticipating it would be completed by summer 2020.