At its January 24, 2023 meeting, the Brewster Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution calling for a community vote on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, asking residents to consider two very important capital project proposals. The proposed capital projects would address infrastructure repairs and educational enhancements throughout the district and have been designed to secure maximum state aid. It is anticipated that the district would be reimbursed by New York State for approximately $31.3 million for projects in Proposition 1 and $4.4 million for projects in Proposition 2. The projects would be further offset by expiring debt and funds on-hand earmarked for capital improvements. The remaining portion would be funded through the issuance of a tax-exempt serial bond to be repaid over 15-20 years. Proposition 1, at $59,988,000 is entirely tax neutral, meaning it would not lead to an increase in school taxes; Proposition 2, at $23,126,000, has an estimated tax impact of approximately $20 per year, or $1.65 per month, per 100,000 of taxable assessed value. Proposition 2 can only be approved if Proposition 1 passes.
“This is the result of a great deal of work and research over the past two years by our Facilities Committee and takes into consideration the results of a state-mandated facilities review that was conducted in 2021,” said Board President Kerry Cunningham. “We believe our students deserve the best we can offer and the projects included in the two propositions will not only address infrastructure upgrades but will enhance the learning experience for our students.”
Proposition 1 is tax neutral and would provide for high priority infrastructure improvements across all four school buildings and campuses, including roofs, boilers, paving repairs, replacement of the existing synthetic turf field, replacement of the existing track and installation of a new synthetic turf field within it. The project also features a security vestibule expansion and increased parking at Brewster High School. At C.V. Starr Intermediate School, a new cafetorium, as well as the renovation of the existing cafeteria into new classroom spaces are also planned.
Proposition 2 would provide for the construction of an indoor field house and collegiate-style fitness center at Brewster High School for use by interscholastic and youth sports programs as well as the performing arts program, NJROTC and other school and community groups in need of a spacious indoor facility. This proposition would also include interior renovations that would create space for a state-of-the-art STEAM Lab, allowing for experiential career and technical opportunities in the fields of construction, carpentry, architecture, HVAC, electrical and plumbing.
“The proposal supports the Brewster Vision 2026 Strategic Planning objective of a dynamic learning environment that is safe and allows for optimal learning conditions and opportunities to develop individual strengths that lead to post-secondary success,” said Superintendent Dr. Laurie Bandlow.
In an effort to provide the community with as much information as possible, the following informational sessions will be held for public comment and questions:
January 31, 2023 at Brewster High School at 6:30 p.m.
March 7, 2023 at C.V. Star Intermediate School at 6:30 p.m.
March 14, 2023 at JFK Elementary School at 9:15 a.m.
More detailed information is available on the “Brewster Vision Capital Project” page of the district’s website: https://www.brewsterschools.org/capital_projects.
Please make your voice heard and vote on Tuesday, March 21, 2023 between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. at Brewster High School. To vote, residents must be registered for either school elections or general elections. To be eligible to register, residents must be a U.S. citizen, 18 years of age by the date of the vote, and a resident of the district for at least thirty days prior to the election. The last day for registration for this vote is March 15, 2023. Absentee ballot applications are available at https://www.brewsterschools.org/capital_projects or by contacting the District Clerk at 845-279-8000 x 6121.