The Carmel Board of Education will try again to pass a bond referendum to fund several capital projects, eight months after a standalone referendum was soundly defeated by the district’s voters.
The referendum, which voters in the Carmel school district will decide the fate of on May 21, is broken into two parts. Proposition 1 would cost taxpayers $2,730,000 and would fund a series of improvements to schools across the district. Proposition 2, which will only be considered if Proposition 1 passes, would fund a Physical Education and Wellness Center at Carmel High School.
If both propositions pass, it will cost taxpayers a total of $4,611,901, or around $30 a year for the average homeowner. The cost of the improvements would total $8,567,000, with close to half being paid for by New York State Aid.
Carmel Football Coach Todd Cayea said the district didn’t do a good job communicating the planned capital projects, particularly the fitness center, when it was defeated 739 votes to 368 in October.
“There was a public perception that it was for athletes only, and it’s not,” Cayea said of the center. “It’s for every student in the school.”
Capital projects funded by Proposition 1 include security systems and wireless technology for the schools, repaving parking lots at the Kent Primary School and George Fischer Middle School, replacing boilers as well as the turf field at Carmel High School and reconstructing areas of the track. The district separated those projects and the fitness facility so opposition to the latter wouldn’t sink the rest of the projects, Cayea said.
“We felt like the district voted the last one down because of this, so we put it up by itself,” he added.
The center would feature state of the art workout equipment, including both weights and aerobic machines.
“It’s a shame what our kids are lacking as far as facilities for that,” said Cayea.
The votes will take place on May 21 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. along with the Board of Education election and budget vote. Ballots can be cast at Carmel High School and the Matthew Paterson and Kent elementary schools.