VALHALLA, N.Y. -- Valhalla residents, by a 2 to 1 margin, approved a $9.9 million school construction bond issue on Thursday.
The unofficial vote was 373 residents for and 192 against districtwide capital projects that require borrowing about $6.6 million. The other $3.3 million would come from reserve funds. Property taxes are estimated to rise $122.43 annually for a home assessed at $500,000 for the life of the bond. The project is eligible for 10 percent in state aid.
Construction includes replacing Virginia Road Elementary School’s playground to focus on physical education and health. An additional 60 parking spaces will be added at Virginia Road.
On the Valhalla Middle/High School campus, projects include adding turf athletic fields and upgrading science laboratories, "allowing students to work in a state-of-the-art environment," school district officials said.The bond issue also includes renovating the auditorium, providing better acoustics, stage expansion and new heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
Construction is expected to begin in May 2018 -- with the exception of the Virginia Road projects, which will start in June 2017 due to early authorization from the school board. All construction is expected to be completed by September 2018.
“The Board of Education would like to thank the community for supporting the projects included in this bond,” said Valhalla School Board President Robert Ierace in a press statement. “When you put all of the projects together, this is about the community supporting the district’s goals of 21st Century learning, whole child education and placing children first.”
Following the capital bond’s passage by the Valhalla community, the school district expects approval from the New York State Education Department by November 2017.
Projects: Construction would include replacing Virginia Road elementary’s playground. At Valhalla's middle and high school campus, work includes adding turf fields, renovating the auditorium and upgrading science labs.
Valhalla Superintendent Brenda Myers said, “Teachers can do so much and they’re working hard, but sometimes you need the space to do the instruction you like."